Coaches at Nyckoles Harbor suppose it’s foolish to match him to every other high college athlete in America and, frankly, unfair to different youngsters.
Instead, Archbishop Carroll High School soccer coach Robert Harris mentions Harbor in the identical vein as the professional stars, as he compares the 17-12 months-previous’s bodily traits to the components in a pot of gumbo: a touch of Usain Bolt and Calvin Johnson right here, bits of Derrick Brooks and Von Miller there.
“I’d probably put some Randy Moss in it,” Harris continues. “And we’d get the capabilities of what (Harbor) might be like in the future.”
Hyperbolic? Safe. But Harbor is the uncommon athlete who may even invite such comparisons.
At 6-foot-6 and 225 kilos, he’s the dimension of an NFL edge rusher and the pace of a possible Olympic sprinter. In soccer, she’s a 5-star rookie who performs on either side of the ball, with 47 tackles for a loss and 10 catches for touchdowns in the previous two seasons. On monitor, she ran the 100m in 10.22 seconds, the seventh quickest below-18 time in the world this 12 months, in line with World Athletics.
“He’s truly one of the most unique prospects we’ve seen in Rivals history going back to 2002,” mentioned Adam Gorney, director of nationwide recruiting for Rivals and Yahoo! Sports. “There aren’t many athletes at his level, anywhere.”
A clip of Harbor on the monitor went viral on social media earlier this 12 months which reveals him passing – and overtaking – different sprinters at a meet in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
More not too long ago, the headlines about him have targeted on his soccer recruiting.
Generally thought to be a good finish or defensive again in school, Harbor is certainly one of the greatest obtainable 2023 prospects in the nation, with Maryland, Michigan and South Carolina amongst the high colleges in competition for his effort. According to Rivals, he has 46 Division I scholarship gives.
Harbor mentioned he briefly thought-about going professional in monitor, however as a substitute plans to run and play school soccer, with the NFL and a possible Olympic qualifier in the again of his thoughts.
“My overall goal is to at least get to the Olympics and win a medal,” Harbor mentioned. “A gold medal would be nice.”
Dual-sport athletes in soccer and monitor and subject are by no means uncommon, and plenty of males have competed professionally in each. Renaldo Nehemiah, for instance, set a world report in hurdling and performed three years in the NFL. NFL Marquise Goodwin competed in the 2012 Olympics in the lengthy leap. Devon Allen, one other hurdler, spent this season on the Philadelphia Eagles’ observe squad after a fourth-place end in Tokyo.
What separates Harbor from these two sporting phenoms, in line with Archbishop Carroll’s coach Rafiu Bakare, is his dimension.
More than six months away from his 18th birthday, Harbor is already about the identical dimension as Seattle Seahawks extensive receiver DK Metcalf, however quicker. (Metcalf, for reference, ran a 4.33-second 40-yard sprint at the NFL mix.)
“It’s in its own category,” Bakare mentioned of Harbour. “When it comes to the fast contraction and this size, it’s on its own. It’s on its own right now.”
Harbor thinks he was 8 years previous when he first observed his distinctive athleticism, which is to say he was simply quicker than everybody else round him. A progress spurt in the eighth grade—from 5 foot 8 to six foot 2—ensured that he would even be taller than most everybody else.
The son of Nigerian-American skilled soccer participant Azuka “Jean” Harbour, Nyckoles mentioned competing in soccer and monitor and subject — in addition to the transition interval between them — at all times appeared pure to him. His physique is used to shifting weights. During the soccer season, he’s mentioned he’ll bulk as much as 230 or 235 kilos. By the finish of the monitor season, he may very well be as mild as a 220.
Over the years, Harbor’s coaches mentioned they’ve seen varied individuals attempt to push him into one sport or one other. But he by no means wished to specialize, so they assist him discover a steadiness, assembly frequently on scheduling and coaching, to keep away from potential conflicts.
“I just laugh when people try to form their opinion and then make it a reality, because this is not the guy you do that with,” Harris mentioned. “Whatever he wants to do, I feel like he can accomplish it.”
To Archbishop Carroll, he was a power in each sports activities.
As a sprinter, Harbor’s private bests are on par with the high college occasions set by present Team USA athletes. The 100m is her favourite occasion, however earlier this 12 months she additionally ran an indoor 200m sprint in 20.79 seconds, utilizing no beginning blocks. (Her PR in the 200 is 20.63.)
In soccer, in the meantime, he helped lead Archbishop Carroll to a uncommon Washington Catholic Athletic Conference metropolitan division title. In one recreation, Harbor caught 5 passes for 251 yards and three scores on offense. In one other, the opposing workforce assigned three gamers to dam him on protection.
Gorney, the Rivals’ recruiting director, mentioned Harbor nonetheless has loads of room to develop on the soccer subject, however his measurments make it “almost a guarantee” that he may very well be in the combine as a primary-spherical NFL draft choose.
“This is someone who, if he goes to the combine, is just going to set records,” Gorney mentioned. “There’s just nothing to think he wouldn’t do. He’ll wipe people out.”
The first, although, is school. Harbor has spent the final month making official visits to a handful of colleges and has no plans to signal a nationwide letter of intent throughout the early signing interval, which begins Wednesday. “February 1st is when everyone will know where I’m going,” she mentioned.
While Harbor’s recruiting focus has been on soccer, he’s additionally trying into every college’s athletic program and coaches. Eventually, in fact, one thing must give between the two sports activities. Gaining or shedding pounds to excel at one will begin hurting Harbor at the different.
“At the end of the day, my body is going to tell me which way to go,” she mentioned. “If going backwards and forwards in weight is generally an excessive amount of, then I’m going to have to decide on.
“Sooner or later I’ll have to choose.”