Football: Good things happening for Lyons Township’s Harris
Updated: August 6, 2012 11:25AM
ADDISON — Matthew Harris’ success on the track has opened plenty of doors on the football field for the Lyons Township athlete.
It turns out many of the Midwest’s top college football programs are interested in a long jumper capable of leaping nearly 24 feet and a hurdler that can travel 110 meters just short of 15 seconds.
After a successful state track and field meet that ended with Harris in second in Class 3A in the long jump and 12th in the hurdles, the May evaluating period for high school football players was pretty kind to Harris, who already has scholarship offers from Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota and Wisconsin and from several other Mid-American Conference schools.
At 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, recruiters are not asking Harris is specialize at one position just yet. LT coach Kurt Weinberg hopes to get the ball in Harris’ hands in a number of ways this fall, primarily as a wide receiver and defensive back.
“(Recruiting) has been going well,” Weinberg said. “As anticipated, once they saw him in person, people began saying, ‘Whoa.’ ”
The first day of the official signing period for football isn’t until Feb. 6, but Harris said June 28 at the West Suburban 7-on-7 at Addison Trail that he would like to make a verbal commitment “soon.”
“I’ve heard from a lot of schools,” said Harris, a La Grange resident. “I’m blessed to have so many choices. I would like to make my decision as soon as possible. I’m blessed to have the opportunities, but at the same time I want to have fun in my senior year and get (recruiting) out of the way.”
LT competed in the Red Grange 7-on-7 Classic June 27 at Wheaton Warrenville South. That event actually featured bracketed competition, scoring and was streamed by ihigh.com. Because of the hot conditions that day, Harris received the day off the next day for the West Suburban Conference 7-on-7. That passing session featured 10 of the 14 teams in the conference while each team played three to four games.
The 7-on-7 at Addison Trail was the last major passing tournament for LT before the team travels to a camp at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls later this month.
As expected, the battle for the starting quarterback position has been a spirited one between both returnees from last year, seniors Zach Mahoney and Connor Onion.
“It has been a pretty good week of football,” Harris said. “The team has been in a few camps. It has been hectic, but at the same time it has been fun.”
In past summers, Harris has participated with the Hinsdale-based Zephyrs track and field club, but Harris has remained focused on football this summer.
“I’m working on being fast in general for track and football,” Harris said. “I want to be someone no one can catch. I love the game of football. This is all that matters.”