Do-it-all Class of 2016 Connecticut TE rising in recruiting rankings

By EFN Staff
Published: 01/30/2015

Rarely does the label “athlete” get used with a player who lines up at tight end. Without intent, Greenwich High School’s Scooter Harrington is breaking an old mold showing his versatility as a dual-purpose tight end, blocking and passing catching, but also lines up in the slot or at H-back and even at defensive end.

The budding Connecticut star is relatively new to the recruiting scene having spent his sophomore season playing utility starter for the Cardinals. In 11 games he started eight at four different positions tight end, then linebacker, defensive end, and even on the offensive line.

In 2014 Harrington caught the attention not only of the opposition but also made local and national media take notice along with college recruiters. On his way to an All-State, All-County, Connecticut Class LL Coaches All-State Team, and USA Today All-State selections, college coaches found their way to Greenwich’s stands on Friday nights. When the season was over the 6-foot 5-inch, 235 pound, do-it-all tight end had secured six scholarship offers.

Now schools outside the northeast region are starting to take notice which could lead to another dozen or so offers the longer Harrington keeps his Class of 2016 options open.

In an exclusive Elite Football Network interview Scooter Harrington sat down for a one-on-one interview to talk about his junior season, preparing for his senior campaign, and the recruiting process.

Scooter, the Cardinals went 7-4 in 2014 but started the season with three losses. How did your team turn around a tough start to finish so strong?

“Out of the three loses (West Haven 35-22, Darien 33-26, and New Canaan 35-20) we played the eventual county and state champs. We started off slow but then shifted gears and started playing with a chip on our shoulder. Our fourth loss was to our Thanksgiving Day rival Staples (38-21). That hurt because it kept us out of the playoffs.”

How does the team look heading into next season?

“We had a lot of youth on our team last season. Four of our O-linemen were under classmen. Our starting quarterback is returning – I think we’ll be very good next year.”

What are your strengths on the field at tight end?

“I believe my blocking ability is my biggest strength. A lot of tight ends don’t block as well as I do. I take a lot of pride in my blocking. Another one of my strengths is my physical strength and I feel that I am good with the ball after the catch.”

What are your goals for the 2015 football season?

“I want to win a state championship. It’s been a while since our team has won one, eight years I think. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to win one.”

You played tight end, H-back, slot, and defensive end during your junior season, will your role expand even more in 2015?

“I’m not sure how, but it will. We have a new head coach coming in. Everything will become clear once the new head coach is hired.”

What are you doing in the offseason to prepare for your senior year?

“I’ve been lifting pretty much five times a week, running, and doing conditioning drills. I’m just trying to get better overall. One of my main focuses is trying to get more explosive, trying to increase my quickness.”

Which schools have offered you so far?

Boston College (first offer), Connecticut, N.C. State, Rutgers, Virginia (second offer), and Yale have all offered.”

How did your first offer come?

“I was at a BC four-day summer camp after my freshman year. I played really well going up against seniors and after the camp they offered me. I was surprised.”

Are other schools showing interest in you right now?

“Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt have shown interest. Stanford has started to show a lot of interest as well lately.”

When the college coaches talk to you about your skill set, what do they tell you they like about your game?

“Most schools talk about how versatile I am. They like that in a spread I catch the ball well. They also comment on my run blocking in a two tight end set.”

Are any of the schools recruiting you as a defensive player?

“I get very little feedback about playing defense. Most schools are recruiting me as a tight end only.”

When the time comes on making a decision on which school you will attend for college, what will some of the factors include that will help shape that choice?

“The two big factors for me is trust in the coaching staff, how well I relate to them, and the school itself. With the school I’ll look at the football program and the education the school offers.”

Are there any schools out there that have not offered you yet that you would like to hear from?

“I’m open to any school that has good academics and performs at a very high level on the field. You never know what a school may have to offer until you find out all there is to know.”

Do you have any favorite schools right now?

“I’m just trying to gain as much information as possible, see how I would fit in, and see if that offer is a good opportunity for me. No favorites.”

Are you going to any college camps over the summer?

“I don’t have any decisions yet on where I might go. I might commit before the camps start up. Right now I’m trying to set up spring visits. From there will see if I can make it to a couple of camps.”

What schools are you trying to visit this spring?

“I’m visiting N.C. State this weekend, Wake Forest, Stanford, and Boston College after signing day.”

Are there any NFL players you like to watch to learn more about the game?

“I’m a big film study guy. I like watching highlights of the top tight ends. I watch guys like Tony Gonzalez seeing the techniques they use, how they get out of a 3-point stance, how they get open in the passing game, and figure out how to apply that to my game to make myself a better player.”

Do you play any sports other than football for Greenwich?

“I play lacrosse in the spring.” (Brother plays lacrosse for Duke!)

Scholarship offers come down for the school of your choice for both football and lacrosse, which sport do you choice?

“Football comes first.”

Who has made the biggest impact on your football career so far?

“My father (Scott) has had the biggest impact. He played at BC. He was my youth coach and he’s always been very good about giving me quality instruction, helping me become a student of the game.”

What is your favorite part of playing football?

“On the field, I like the physicality of the game. Off the field I like the brotherhood of the game.”

Time will tell what type of offense the new Greenwich High School coach will bring with him. Under Coach Rich Albonizio, the Cardinals ran a multi-offensive attack that switched from a two-tight end set to a spread attack. No matter the offense in 2015 one can be assured Harrington will succeed.

The Cardinals did not keep stats for the 2014 season so there are no gaudy numbers to offer up letting college football fans know just how good of a player Harrington has already become. His junior highlight reel speaks for itself complete with one-handed circus catches, reading defenses dropping into holes in coverage to get open, pancake blocks, and racking up big chunks of yardage after the catch.

In the mold of a Jason Whitten (Dallas Cowboys), expect Harrington to be an every down tight end at the next level creating mismatches going up against smaller linebackers and safeties at the next level while opening holes for his running backs in the ground game. Which school can land the rising star? Only time will tell.

Photo credit:; No. 80 Scooter Harrington.
Photo credit:; No. 80 Scooter Harrington on defense.
Photo credit:; No. 80 Scooter Harrington at practice.