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Tampa Catholic's TJ Harrell picks Michigan State

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Wed. February 5, 2014 | Kelly Parsons

Like any top recruit, Tampa Catholic's T.J. Harrell couldn't escape questions about his future. And until recently, not even he had the answers.

Harrell, who played running back, linebacker and safety for the Crusaders, had offers from some of the nation's best college football programs, but as of three weeks ago said he hadn't made up his mind about which to take.

Today, Harrell finally put an end to the unknown by signing with Michigan State during the USA Football Signing Day Breakfast at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where he is preparing for the upcoming International Bowl.

Harrell, also a runner, said in an interview in January that he would consider pursuing track in East Lansing as well as football.

The 6-foot-1, Rivals' four-star recruit had nearly 30 offers, but said just weeks before his decision that he had narrowed it down to Michigan State, Texas and Louisville. Being a Spartan, though, runs in Harrell's family.

Harrell's cousin Jeremy Ware played defensive back at Michigan State from 2005-2009 before being selected in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft. Harrell said it's possible he could play for the same position coach in East Lansing that Ware did.

"(Jeremy) wants me to be a Spartan real bad," a grinning Harrell said in January.

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