Indiana Football: Juco Wide Receiver Christian Harris Commits To IU
College of DuPage wide receiver Christian Harris worked hard at the junior college level for two years, waiting for his moment to get the chance to play Division I football. The grind finally paid off when he announced his commitment to Indiana Tuesday night, accepting a preferred walk-on offer from the program.
"Just grateful, excited," Harris told TheHoosier.com Tuesday night. "There's not really words to put it in. Coming from the juco, I mean, you just have to keep working and working and hope a team takes a chance on you. Indiana was that team that took the chance on me, and I just can't wait to pay them back for it."
Harris said about three or four weeks ago, Indiana was taking a look at the College of DuPage's players. College of DuPage head coach Matt Foster, who has a longstanding relationship new IU offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer from when DeBoer recruited Foster's players while at Eastern Michigan, told DeBoer to take a look at both Harris and fellow wide receiver Bryan Parker.
"Coach DeBoer came down and talked to us at the school," Harris said. "He was like, 'I really like your film, we need to get you on a visit as fast as possible.' And that's how it went.'"
Harris then made the trip to Bloomington with Parker last Tuesday.
"That was definitely good for me and him, to be both be there at the same time, because I've been with Bryan for two years now at CoD, and we've been competing with each other for two years and been best buds there," Harris said. "Just having that, and then the coaches telling us here it is, if you work hard, there's no reason why you can't be on the field in the fall. That was just straight to the point, and that's all I'm looking for is to be able to prove myself and prove my worth."
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds according to his HUDL profile, Harris' size was one of the biggest reasons IU wanted him.
"II feel like they talked about my height and my speed a little bit," Harris said. "I know there's a lot of receivers who are pretty tall who don't have speed, and then there's pretty speedy people who just aren't tall enough, but they said I bring both of those to the table, so that's what they were looking for."
Parker announced his commitment to IU earlier Tuesday afternoon. For Harris, it's a special feeling to be able to make the transition to Division I with a close friend and teammate.
"Best feeling," Harris said. "Just to have someone who can watch your back, especially coming from juco, there will always be people that don't think you have the talent to be there. I just hope that me and Bryan can stick together throughout this journey and make friends with the teammates that we're going to be playing with at Indiana. Just having Bryan, me having his back and him having mine, it's definitely something that's going to help the both of us."
Similar to Parker, the goal is to eventually earn a starting job and scholarship.
"Earning my scholarship, playing a key role in the offense at Indiana, just showing my talent that I can do this also. I can play Division I football just like everybody else," Harris said of his goals.
Besides Indiana, Illinois had also extended a preferred walk-on offer. Drake and Northern Colorado showed interest in him as well.
Now that the recruiting process is over and he knows where he'll be playing in the fall, Harris is relieved.
"It feels great," Harris said. "I mean, this is what every kid dreams of, finding the school that takes the most interest in you and using the opportunity to the best of your ability. I'm just grateful for this."
Harris will have three years to play two beginning this fall.