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2014 Four-Star WR Monte Harrison Walks on at Arkansas


Arkansas football helmet
© John David Mercer/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Arkansas Razorbacks got a peculiar commitment Tuesday when they received news that wide receiver Monte Harrison will join the team in the fall as a walk-on. Harrison is a native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and attended Lee’s Summit High School, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. That’s not the peculiar aspect of Harrison though, as you’ll soon see…

 


About Monte Harrison

Yes, you read the title right. Harrison was a four-star high school recruit, a four-star recruit in the class of 2014, that is. Harrison would have 60 receptions for 1,007 yards and 13 touchdowns, as well as rush for 198 yards and 12 touchdowns his senior season in 2013. He would also throw for a touchdown. Harrison, who had originally committed to play football and baseball for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in July of 2013, however, would forgo a college career, preserving his eligibility after being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2014 MLB Draft.


 

He was assigned to the Arizona League where he would have a .261 batting average with 1 home run and 20 RBIs. He would then move around the Brewers organization before being traded to the Miami Marlins, where he would have his Major League debut in 2020. He would bat .170 with 1 home run and 3 RBIs while up with Miami.



Finally, to round out his baseball career to this point, Harrison would have minor league stints with the Anaheim Angels and Brewers once again, being brought up for a few games by the Angels when Juan Lagares was designated for assignment. He would be officially released by Milwaukee in September of 2023.


Harrison last played football in 2014 with the Lee’s Summit High School Titans, making his return nearly ten years later. He will have four years of NCAA eligibility at 28 years old, making him one of the oldest college football players in Division I that could play college football into his thirties.


Monte Harrison scores a run
© Troy Taormina/USA TODAY SPORTS

Harrison’s Impact on Arkansas

With Harrison being a walk-on, he may not see the field in 2024. Being out of the game for a decade certainly will call for a refresher on things. However, Harrison is an athlete who has shown feats of incredible ability. He’s got great vertical skills, explosive speed, was a versatile player back in high school and there will be skills that translate from baseball like hand-eye coordination and open-field tracking that will help him get back into the swing of things at receiver.



With four years of eligibility and a professionally trained build as well, Harrison can be developed into a great college player. He will also bring that experience from the professional sports world, making him a potential mentor and teacher to the younger athletes on the team.

 


However, at 28 years old, age is a major question. How much will he contribute even if he develops? How is his durability? Can he be a sponge and absorb enough information at that age? There are a lot of questions, and this commitment is certainly a strange one, but it could pay off for the Razorbacks should Harrison use the skills that were honed at a professional level to benefit him on the gridiron. The landscape of college football is ever-changing, with NIL and other aspects bringing about new and intriguing stories.


This is one of them and College Football Dawgs will be watching Harrison’s career closely as one of the stranger stories of 2024 and beyond.




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