LITTLE ROCK — Joe T. Robinson four-star offensive tackle E’Marion Harris added a little suspense to his commitment press conference on Sunday.
Before Harris entered the room, a person brought three caps and placed them on the table. The caps represented Georgia, Oklahoma and Missouri. Then Harris came into the room, got a sack from his family and in it was a Razorback cap and jersey. That brought a loud roar from the crowd followed by a Hog Call. The jersey was the one worn by his father, Elliott, who lettered with the Razorbacks from 2001-04. For Harris, he talked about why he chose Arkansas.
“I chose Arkansas because I mean they treated me like a son and they made feel like I was at home,” Harris said. “I think it was a great choice.”
Harris had many choices had he opted to go out of state, but admitted representing Arkansas was important to him. That was what his father did as well.
“Yeah it was big,” Harris said of staying at home. “My dad had a big influence on it. He always wanted me to stay here and play for the state of Arkansas.”
Obviously since Harris chose make his commitment public on Mother’s Day it was also a decision that pleased his mother, Tiffany, as well.
“Yeah she did,” Harris said.
Sam Pittman and Brad Davis, the offensive line coach at Arkansas, also had plenty of influence in Harris’ decision.
“They really did,” Harris said. “We talked every day on the phone. And like that just brought me closer and closer to them.”
Harris admitted that getting this recruiting decision behind him will be big and let him concentrate on his senior season.
“I’m pretty relieved,” Harris said smiling. “I don’t have to worry about any more stress with it.”
The Senators won the state championship in 2019, got knocked out earlier in the playoffs in 2020. Harris feels like getting this decision behind him will let him concentrate on the task at hand this fall and that is getting back to War Memorial Stadium on the final day of the season.
“Yes sir,” Harris said. “We can have a pretty decent team this year. I feel like we can go all the way and win state.”
Arkansas now has 10 public commitments in the Class of 2022 with three of them from Pulaski County. Little Rock Parkview running back James Jointer, who was present Sunday, and Maumelle offensive lineman Andrew Chamblee have all committed to the Hogs. Arkansas is still recruiting Maumelle defensive lineman Nico Davillier extremely hard as well.
“I mean it’s been like a long process,” Harris said. “I’m close to James and hopefully I can get close with Chamblee and we can make something happen.”
Are you going to join in on the recruiting of Davillier now?
“Yes sir,” Harris said. “For sure.”
ESPN has Chamblee rated the state’s top recruit in 2022 with Harris closely behind at No. 2. That is a 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle and 6-6, 330, heading to Arkansas from Pulaski County.
“Hopefully I can get close to Chamblee,” Harris said. “I’m going to be playing on one side and he’s on the other. That’s pretty great.”
At Joe T. Robinson to help his team Harris plays both ways. At Arkansas he will get to concentrate on offensive tackle. How much will that help?
“I mean that will be great for me to focus on just one side of the ball,” Harris said. “It’s tough going both ways early in the season.”
Brian Maupin is Joe T. Robinson’s defensive coordinator and talked about Harris’ willingness and ability to go both ways.
“I mean I come to him all the time during the game because it’s my job to make sure he’s fresh and taken care of,” Maupin said. “I come to him all the time and, ‘you need one, you need one’ and he’s like, ‘no coach I’m good to go.’ So I try to get him out there first and second down on defense and get them behind the sticks. I’ll try to give him a blow. Many times he’s like, ‘coach, leave me out there I’m good to go.’
“He does field goals, special teams, punt blocking shield and so he’s on everything. You are thinking about a kid that’s start upwards of 55 games in his high school career both ways never coming off the field. So that’s really rare. Yes, SEC competition is going to be something else and an eye opener, but not being on the field all the time is really going to be life changing for him.”
Harris’ announcement on Sunday ended months of him being a silent commitment.
“I told Arkansas in like March or February I was coming,” Harris said. “I told Coach Davis and he was excited.”
Harris broke into laughter when asked if Jointer had been talking to him a lot and recruiting him hard for the Hogs.
“We facetime time to time,” Harris said.
Elliott played on the defensive line at Arkansas. He and Tiffany are excited to get to see their son the next three to five years in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“It’s great,” Elliott said. “Like I said there isn’t anything like playing for your home state. The fan base is great and great support. But at the end of the day it’s not about me it’s all about him. I always tell him, ‘don’t be like me, be better.’ The sky is the limit for him. Go Hogs. The intention is for us to be there every game.”
Maupin talked about Harris the kid and how impressive he is in addition to his obvious outstanding talents on the football field.
“He’s awesome,” Maupin said. “He’s the kind of kid you want in your locker room, meeting room, practices and trenches when it’s nut cutting time. You just think about a kid that’s made big plays in big games since he was a 13-year old.”