Paul VI senior Anthony Harris verbally committed to Virginia Tech on Tuesday, adding a versatile combo guard to the Hokies' 2019 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Harris, who was rated as a four-star prospect, announced his decision via Twitter. Harris said he made his decision Sunday, after sitting down with family and friends once he got back from an official visit to Duke over the weekend. Harris had several offers from top basketball programs, including Wake Forest, Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, Indiana, Miami, Ohio State and Louisville.
“I had a great relationship with the coaches,” Harris said. “They’ve been recruiting me for some strong years and have gotten to get to know me and my parents, plus [Paul VI] Coach Glenn Farello, [Team Takeover Coach Keith Stevens] and [assistant coach Doug Martin].
"They just made me feel good about what I prepared for and what I’ve done to get here and it not being a waste of time.”
Harris is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 3 prospect in Virginia and No. 64 in the nation.
Harris, one of the leading combo guards in the Washington area, saw his recruitment heat up during the spring, but Virginia Tech and Coach Buzz Williams had been the front-runner since the beginning of Harris’s recruitment. Virginia Tech had kept Harris high on its recruiting board since the start of Harris’s high school career, offering him in July 2016.
“Buzz did an amazing job of letting the relationship build up last couple years,” Farello said. “He’s been all in on Ant and the value Ant brings to the team. The transition to ACC is one of the hardest things you can do, no question, and Buzz wants to help in all facets. . . . Ant will fit in very well with the system they have and the program.”
The Virginia Tech coaching staff also has strong connections to the area in assistant coach Christian Weber, a D.C. native who was Harris' lead recruiter. With the addition of Harris, the Hokies will look to add four more players to the Class of 2019.
“I think Ant is one of the best two-way players in the country,” said Martin, who coaches for the D.C-based AAU program Team Takeover, which Harris played for. “I think he epitomizes what a combo guard is. I think if he does have a basketball in his hand or without, he does a great job of helping his teammates as well.”
This season, Virginia Tech will return a talented roster with most of its NCAA tournament team intact. The Hokies led the ACC in field goal percentage last season.
“Just excited to be able to play in one of the best leagues there is,” Harris said. “With the best competition, no nights off, and just develop.”
Harris, used to playing in the up-tempo, guard-friendly system that Farello runs with the Panthers, said he is looking forward to joining the Hokies. Harris, who is considered one of the top perimeter defenders in the country, helped Paul VI to the WCAC regular season title last season.
“I like to call him a complete guard,” Farello said. “He will be a playmaker. He will be able to score. I think he’s one of the best defenders we have here at PVI. He brings toughness. He’s a winner.”
Harris averaged 12.9 points last season for Paul VI, after missing the beginning of the season with a fractured knee. Over the summer, Harris completed his AAU career with Team Takeover, which went 23-1 on the season and won its first Peach Jam title.
Before choosing Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Harris went on an official visit to Duke over the weekend. Duke did not offer Harris before or after the visit, but Harris said he wanted to see the campus just to “feel it out.” The Blue Devils recently offered Harris’s high school teammate, 2020 five-star guard Jeremy Roach, in late July.
Harris took two additional official visits last month, including to Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 and to Wake Forest on Sept. 21.