Former Boston College star Harris to play at Temple
Montel Harris, one of the best running backs in the history of Boston College, was granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA and will play this fall for Temple – bet on NCAA futures at WagerWeb.com.
Harris arrived on campus Sunday and is enrolled in summer classes, which began Monday. Harris’ arrival is huge for the Owls, who are about to embark on their first season in the Big East. He goes into the season as the FBS active career rushing leader, with 3,735 total yards while playing for the Eagles. Harris suffered a knee injury in 2011 and took a medical redshirt, and then hurt the knee again in spring practice. In May, he was kicked off Boston College’s team for repeated violations of team rules.
He is reunited with former BC assistants Ryan Day (now Temple’s offensive coordinator) and Kevin Rogers (the Owls’ new quarterbacks coach). Harris will be immediately eligible this fall as a graduate student.
At BC, Harris went over 1,400 all-purpose yards in each of his first three seasons on campus and picked up All-ACC honors as a sophomore and junior in 2009-10. He ended his junior season with more yards (3,599) and more 100-yard games (20) on the ground than any other back in BC history but also with a knee injury that cost him the final three games of the 2010 season.
The effects of two subsequent surgeries lingered well into last season, when Harris, despite being tabbed by ACC coaches as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year, missed the Eagles’ first three games in September and was relegated to the redshirt list for the rest of the year after appearing in just two games at midseason.
In February, he was knocked out of spring practice by a re-aggravation of the injury on the first day of drills; by May, he was off the team due to “repeated violations of team rules.”
Temple loses its top rusher in Bernard Pierce, who led the team with 1,481 yards a season ago, so it is not hard to envision Harris playing a major role. It also is not hard to envision the Owls continuing to go with a heavy reliance on two backs, something that the team has done with Pierce and the returning Matt Brown since 2009. Between them, Pierce and Brown churned out 5,845 yards on well over 1,000 carries from 2009-11, which works out to about 158 yards on 29 carries per game. (The likely starting quarterback this fall, Chris Coyer, got in the act last year with 562 yards rushing in just eight games – including four games in which he didn’t attempt a pass.)
The Owls open their season Aug. 31 against Division I-AA power Villanova.