Aaron Harris broke Southwestern College’s career rushing record. Now he is rushing off to the University of Cincinnati on a full scholarship. During the fall 2011 season, SWC’s football team earned more scholarships than wins, 10 and four, respectively. Without Harris, both totals would likely be much lower.
Harris turned down offers from better known schools like Georgia and Indiana to become a bearcat.
“It all came down to job placement and academics,” said Harris. “Cincinnati actually put that pressure on me. They’ve been with me since they found out I was injured. They were the only school to stick with me through it all.”
Cincinnati’s push helped Harris reach his academic goals and gave him that extra motivation to improve.
“They set up plans and they showed me step by step on what I can do academically,” he said. “Their job placement is ridiculous. You can pretty much say it’s a guaranteed job placement right after you graduate.”
On his recruiting trip Harris met his future teammates.
“I’d say all of them pretty much relate to me,” he said. “Everybody in the team has seen my highlights. They all predict that I can be the first 1,500-yard rusher at Cincinnati.”
Harris has a knack for breaking records. In his career at SWC, Harris holds the record for career rushing yards with 2,000 yards and holds the record with 22 career rushing touchdowns.
“This is what stepped my game up when it came to academics,” said Harris. “Coach Carberry and coach Jackson really opened my eyes about everything.”
Football head coach Ed Carberry said Harris’ commitment to Cincinnati was a long but exciting process.
“We tell them to ask themselves one question, ‘If you got hurt and couldn’t play anymore, would I transfer?” said Carberry. “If you can say no, then it’s the right place for you because you shouldn’t be making a real football decision, you should be making a decision about where you’re going to live.”
Carberry said Harris made the right choice.
“They wanted him and it’s great to be wanted,” he said. “They’ve been recruiting him for two years and they won the longevity battle.”
SWC teammate Marc Pouvave said he is proud of Harris.
“He chose a school that is going to treat him well,” said Pouvave. “A school that he could get away from San Diego and focus on school and football.”
Pouvave earned a full scholarship to Utah, but plans to keep track of Harris — on ESPN.