ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — Lake Brantley four-star linebackers Andrew and Michael Harris were not a package deal after all. Instead, the identical twins will go their separate ways for college.
Sitting side-by-side in the school’s gymnasium, Michael stood up from the table and put on a Maryland hat. Then, Andrew rose, removed his sweatshirt and revealed a UCF polo underneath — an unexpected twist on an otherwise mostly uneventful National Signing Day.
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The brothers, born in Jamaica and raised in Central Florida, said they’ve barely ever spent time apart. Following their senior years for Lake Brantley, they played in two all-star games ― teaming up for the Under Armour Next All-America Game, and standing on opposite sidelines during the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii.
“When we weren’t together, it was very weird,” said Andrew, the Polynesian Bowl’s Defensive MVP. “But we had to adapt.”
Michael added: “It showed us what we could do without each other.”
The twins each pound their chest and call themselves the best linebacker in the country, though the slightly larger Andrew (6-1, 205) has the edge in the 247Sports composite ranking. Both players are among the top-30 nationally at the position, and among the top-60 overall recruits in the fertile state of Florida.
Michael led the Patriots with 104 total tackles during the 2022 season, adding 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Andrew contributed 72 tackles, seven TFLs, four sacks and a team-high three interceptions.
UCF initially secured verbal commitments from both players in the summer, but the twins reopened their recruitment on Dec. 18 in the aftermath of defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Travis Williams accepting the same position at Arkansas.
Andrew said he developed a love for the school, irrespective of the coaching staff, and has forged a bond with new linebackers coach Ernie Sims. Michael, meanwhile, wanted to play for Williams and thought Maryland would be the better fit moving forward.
“I liked Maryland a lot. Once T-Will left, I thought that Maryland was the move,” Michael said. “I talked to the coaches, knew some people over there and wanted to go up and work.”
Andrew Harris’ signing bumps UCF inside 247Sports’ top-50 composite rankings for high school and junior college prospects. He becomes the No. 5 highest-rated recruit in program history; December signees John Walker (Kissimmee Osceola) and Isaiah Nixon (St. Petersburg Lakewood) are Nos. 1 and 6, respectively.
“We’re very, very excited about Andrew,” Knights head coach Gus Malzahn said in a post-signing day press conference. “You’re talking about a phenomenal athlete, unbelievably talented, played extremely well in the Under Armour (Next All-America) Game. … It’s big for us in a lot of different ways.”
The Knights confirmed 10 additions via the transfer portal Wednesday. Defensive back Fred Davis (Clemson), offensive lineman Amari Kight (Alabama), long snapper Gage King (Arizona State), wide receiver Chauncey Magwood (Kentucky), offensive lineman Marcellus Marshall (Kent State), defensive back DeJordan Mask (Texas State), offensive lineman Drake Metcalf (Stanford), offensive lineman Bula Schmidt (Fresno State), wide receiver Trent Whittemore (Florida) and defensive back Jireh Wilson (East Carolina) have all enrolled, the school announced.
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UCF has signed three sets of twins since 2010 — offensive linemen Justin and Jordan McCray, defensive back Shaquill Griffin and linebacker Shaquem Griffin, and defensive backs Ja’Cari and DeMari Henderson. Yet, in the 2023 cycle, the Knights reeled in one of the Harris twins, and one of the Duclona brothers from Southwest Florida. Estero’s Jason enrolled early at UCF, and Naples’ Jonas flipped his commitment from Cincinnati to Wisconsin.
Andrew joked that he expects his brother to be homesick, an assertion Michael quickly refuted before waving his finger and declaring he’d show him who the better player is. It’s love, then competition, between the pair.
And they should get the chance to settle the score on the field: UCF visits Maryland on Aug. 30, 2025.