BSB TV: Relationships Keep DE Zach Harrison Comfortable As Ohio State Early Enrollment Begins

By March 4, 2019 (12:47 pm)Football, Garrett Stepien
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With his long-winding recruitment fully in the rearview mirror, freshman defensive end Zach Harrison enrolled early Jan. 7 and went to work as he attacked winter workouts from Jan. 17 through March 2 at Ohio State.

The 6-5, 243-pounder enters spring camp Wednesday with familiar faces around him after signing early Dec. 19 with the Buckeyes’ 2019 recruiting class over Michigan and Penn State as the other two finalists. Two of Harrison’s top recruiters, ex-Wolverines assistants Greg Mattison and Al Washington, respectively joined OSU as head coach Ryan Day‘s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Teamed with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Harrison’s three closest college coaches are in one place. As the familiarity sets in, the former five-star recruit from nearby Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange discusses his high hopes and how he has gotten acclimated to the next level with Day’s coaching staff settled.

Zach Harrison

On what he hopes his career at Ohio State will amount to when all is said and done…

“I really haven’t thought about this season that much. I just want to work and whatever happens, happens.

“When it’s all said and done, I want to leave a legacy here. I want people to be like, ‘Oh, Zach Harrison was one of the greatest to come through Ohio State.

“That’s going to mean a lot more to me because coming from home, I’ll be able to take my kids here and grow up in the community where they know my name.”

On how he has adapted to the weight room in his experience with winter workouts…

They’re tough. They’re hard, but I’m getting through them. They’re kind of fun, too.”

On where he is right now as a football player and how high his ceiling is at defensive end…

“I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface. I have a long way to go, which is exciting. I’m decent right now, but I’m waiting for it to take off.

On Johnson…

“Coach J is my guy. I’ve known him for four years now. I’ve got a lot of trust in him. He trusts me. We have a good relationship.”

On his relationship with Johnson, from primary recruiter to now position coach…

“It’s all of the above. If you’re playing for him, even so far doing workouts and drills, when he’s watching, you don’t want to let him down. You don’t want him to be disappointed, so you’re going to go that much harder. Knowing that he’s coached some of the best D-linemen at Ohio State, you know he knows what he’s talking about. So on top of the fact you don’t want to let him down, you go that much harder.”

On his relationship with Mattison, stemming from Michigan and continuing at Ohio State…

When Coach Matty was at the team up north, we had a real good relationship — real good. I love Coach Matty. Now that he’s here, it was like Christmas when I heard he was coming. I’ve got two of the guys I love the most during the recruiting process in the same place. Same thing with Coach Washington.”

On what Mattison and Washington bring from Michigan to Ohio State…

I know Coach Mattison. He’s been around for a minute. He knows a lot of football. He’s good at what he does. Coach Washington has energy about him as a young coach. He’s just going to bring so much energy. I wasn’t here before, so don’t really know (what Ohio State was like without Washington), but I know he’s going to bring a lot of energy.”

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