Kelvin Taylor was just scratching the surface.
If you dig deeper into the 2013 Gator legacy, you will eventually reach Mud.
But this is the kind you want to get your hands on if you’re a Florida fan.
Meet Marcell Harris, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder out of Orlando.
The four-star safety is the son of former Gator Mike ‘Mud’ Harris, who played free safety for UF from 1994-1997. The elder Harris is from Gainesville (Buchholz) and earned his nickname because he was “awful” at basketball.
Football, however, was a different story. Harris was part of the 1996 National Championship team and on three SEC title teams during his time at Florida. He was one of its hardest hitters in the secondary.
Marcell has inherited his dad’s head-hunting ways.
A member of both the Rivals100 and ESPNU 150 watch list, the younger Harris has earned the reputation as a physical tackler with a frame resembling an outside linebacker.
That’s made him a priority for UF defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, despite having two safeties already committed.
“Coach T-Rob tells me I’m still one of their top targets and that they need me,” Harris said. “He said my skills are perfect for the defense they run.”
Harris has visited Gainesville numerous times, with his most recent trip Florida’s Feb. 18 Junior Day. The event yielded six commitments for the Gators, most notably Belle Glade running back Kelvin Taylor (son of Gator great Fred Taylor).
Their fathers spent all four years at UF together, and now they have a chance to follow that trend.
“That would be good to see that happen,” Harris said of joining Taylor. “Two Gator commits whose dads played there together. That’s always a dream for a football dad — having his son play for the same school. I think we would like it.”
But if Harris ends up at Florida, it won’t be because of the Gator legacy. The Dr. Phillips prospect lives with his mother, and her influence appears to hold much more weight than that of his father.
“My mom is really the one that I talk to about everything,” Harris said. “She’s played a big role in my life as far as taking care of me and bringing me to all my football games. She’s right there on the sideline cheering me on and telling me what I did wrong when I come off the field. So most of the time I go to her for advice and she gives me all the answers and keeps my head focused.”
Harris will be searching for a lot of answers this summer. He plans to attend several camps and narrow his list of schools to a top five, which he knows will include UF.
“I just love the tradition at Florida,” Harris said. “A lot of great players have come through there and a lot of good recruits are getting signed now, so hopefully they can turn it around. And it’s the hometown for my family, so being in the area would be a big plus if I went.”