Jay Harris, one of the area’s top football recruits, was stripped of his scholarship by Michigan State earlier this month after he posted a series of profanity-laced rap videos on YouTube, a source said Tuesday.
Under the name “Jay DatBull,” the Downingtown East senior has uploaded nine videos to YouTube. Using explicit lyrics, Harris raps about drugs, women, and homosexuals.
His first single, “DatBull 4 Life,” surpassed 50,000 views over the weekend and appears to show Harris smoking marijuana while sitting behind the steering wheel of a car.
Harris, a senior wide receiver, said he freely chose a rap career over football. A Michigan State spokesman said it was “a mutual decision.”
“I’ve always had this in the back of my head, but never had the courage to tell my parents that this is what I want to do,” Harris said.
The 5-foot-11, 162-pounder is ranked by ESPN as the state’s 17th-ranked senior and second-best wideout. He scored 13 touchdowns last season on 54 catches for 792 yards. He signed a binding letter of intent in February to attend Michigan State.
Harris said he decided to forego football about a week before the video debuted. He knew people would watch it, Harris said, but not so many in such a short time.
An album is slated for a June 1 release, and Harris said he plans to work with professional producer M. Stacks this summer.
M. Stacks has worked with popular rappers Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller.
“I try to take advantage of every opportunity I get, and for him to like my music and reach out to me, I really appreciated that,” Harris said.
Harris said his commitment to Michigan State last year was “halfhearted.” He said he first flirted with a career in music during his freshman year at Downingtown East.
He said he called Michigan State quarterbacks coach Brad Salem two weeks ago and told him of his decision.
Salem recruited Harris and swayed him to sign with the Spartans instead of offers from Old Dominion and Temple.
Penn State was reported to have interest, as well.
Harris originally was named to play in this summer’s Big 33 all-star football game, but his name was removed recently from the roster.
Contact Matt Breen at firstname.lastname@example.org and @matt_breen on Twitter.