Each year, true freshmen report to campus ready to conquer the world and contribute early on in their college careers.
However for many, a redshirt year is needed to make the adjustment – especially in a challenging conference such as the SEC.
Grant Harris arrived at Mississippi State last fall as a first team All-State defensive end out of Clinton but was asked to sit out his first season for the Bulldogs.
“When I found out I was being redshirted, it was a bit of a change,” Harris said. “But it was for the best. It prepared me a lot. At times it would get pretty tough. But at the end of the day, you’ve just got to know that you have to play your role and your part until it’s your time.”
Harris excelled in the classroom during his first year earning a spot on the SEC honor roll while adjusting to life on the field. During his senior year at Clinton, he made 92 tackles, 10 for loss, six sacks and forced two fumbles but found things moving at a quicker pace once he arrived in Starkville.
“College is way faster, especially in the SEC,” Harris said. “We play in the West and that’s the toughest division. You have to be on your P’s and Q’s with everything that you do.”
Harris began his ascent up the depth chart during spring practice. During the Bulldogs’ three scrimmages, he made seven tackles including a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Now in the midst of his second fall camp, Harris has a grasp on what is being asked of him and is working to improve on the fundamental aspects of his game before making his debut on Sept. 5 against Southern Miss.
“This is my second year so I’m trying to get better at my craft,” Harris said. “I feel very comfortable and know most of my plays. It’s not really a play thing, I’m just trying to get better at what I’m doing from day-to-day. I know what to expect and how it’s going to be.”
Now at 6-foot-3, 273-pounds, Harris is still playing defensive end but admits if he continues to grown he will likely be shifted inside.
Although Harris held 10 scholarship offers, he is elated with how things are going thus far at MSU.
“I’ve been very happy here and happy with my position coach (David Turner),” Harris said. “I feel like this was the best option for me and he’s the best coach that could be coaching me.”