STOCKBRIDGE — When it comes to committing and signing for college players often leave people wondering who they’ll select for their collegiate careers.
Michael Harris II of Stockbridge is one of those players. Harris has become the talk of the town recently as he’s steadily seen his stock rise and the interest from colleges continue to grow over the past few seasons.
“The recruiting process started in the summer coming out of my 10th-grade year,” Harris said. “I didn’t envision getting attention from these top college baseball programs and it even surprised me when I got my first offer from Texas Texas that summer. I always knew I would work hard enough to get where I am today.”
The Tigers looked better than they did in years past and Harris II had a bat to envy.
Harris batted .506 last season and registered 15 RBIs with a team that had limited production offensively. However, the Tigers still pulled off a 12-15 season altogether.
Harris kept improving over the summer and attracted more attention to himself as a prospect. Offers for his services came in but the final four teams stood at Texas Tech, the University of Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.
The choice became clear for Harris as he selected Texas Tech because of the school’s coaching staff and vibes.
“That’s what led to my decision,” Harris said. “The outstanding coaching staff they have and the great vibes that are given off by players, parents, and fans and the love for Texas Tech baseball all around town.”
Selecting Texas Tech wasn’t just something that landed in his lap, Harris worked hard since he seriously began playing baseball seriously since he was 9 or 10. Harris played against the top competitors in the country at that age and never looked back.
“I’ve worked extremely hard, whether that’s going to the batting cage, going outside and long tossing with a friend, or going to training sessions that would help me physically or mentally on the field,” Harris said. “I know I haven’t worked the most, but I know every time I work on my craft, I do it with a purpose. Every time I stepped on the field, I always have a purpose and give my best effort every single time. With me, I don’t want to be good, I want to be great. I feel as if good is for everyone, but great is for those who work hard and don’t let anything stop them from greatness.”
Making the decision at school in the morning was one of the best for the athlete who ultimately felt the recruiting process was stressful at times.
"I still enjoyed communicating with college coaches that we’re interested in me and my talents," Harris said. "It showed me that my hard work is paying off but now I only have to work harder. But now that my decision is made, I’m relieved to be attending the right school for me."
Stockbridge is used to seeing big names in sports head places, from football to basketball — however, the baseball team had been missing that top player commitment for the past few years until Wednesday.
Assistant coach Karl Brooks says it was a feather in the cap for Stockbridge High.
"We are used to seeing football and basketball players sign. To the community, it speaks volumes as the people of the city of Stockbridge young and old can witness a fine young man who not only made his mark in Stockbridge but also globally," Brooks said. "We knew four years ago that Michael was a very special baseball talent, but over the years we have watched him grow and develop into the player that he is today. He comes to the field, puts in work, smiles, never complains, and will sacrifice for the team. Younger players can witness how you should go about you business and stay humble. As a program, this is very huge as we are building the bridge."