If there’s one thing 2014 wide receiver Emmanuel Harris (Dallas/Skyline) isn’t lacking, it’s confidence.
Harris’s junior season featured 21 receptions for 358 yards -- respectable numbers for a player who saw senior teammates Ra’Shaad Samples (Oklahoma State), Lamont Levels (Angelo State) and Ellis Onic (Northern Colorado) combine for 134 catches, 36 touchdowns and nearly 2,200 receiving yards. Harris will be the leading returning receiver in the fall, and he’s out to prove something specifically.
“I want people to expect a lot,” Harris said. “I have a lot to prove being that I played behind Ra’Shaad and had guys like Mike Davis come through before me. I want people to expect a better receiver. I want to be better than the ones who come through, and I’m going to work hard to do that.”
Harris’ game -- and confidence -- has attracted the attention of a couple schools. On Wednesday, the 5-foot-10, 178-pound receiver picked up his first offer. Harris was excited about the offer from SMU, and he’s expecting it to be the first of many, but he doesn’t want anyone to mistake his drive and work ethic with cockiness.
“I know I work hard, and I stay humbled,” Harris said. “[The SMU offer] felt good. I feel like my hard work is paying off, but there’s still plenty more to come. I’ve just got to stay humble and stay at it.”
Harris said he likes the academic reputation of SMU and the fact that the football program is on the rise. He’s been following another Emmanuel -- Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders -- since his days at SMU. In addition to sharing the same name and position, both have a major characteristic that attracts scouts -- speed.
Harris said he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at a Texas A&M satellite camp in DeSoto, Texas, over the summer. His speed helped make him a reliable alternate option in the slot this past season for Skyline, which advanced to the Texas Class 5A Division I state quarterfinals. He averaged better than 17 yards per catch.
One thing Harris will working this spring is his ability to be more of a playmaker. While he had 21 receptions, he didn’t score as a junior.
“I’m coming in working hard,” Harris said. “I’ve got work to do.”