Cuyahoga Falls High School graduate Chris Harris is enrolled at the University of Akron and on the Zips football roster as a walk-on.
Harris, who 5-foot-10¼ and 190 pounds, is practicing as a cornerback on defense.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Harris said. “I get to stay around the people that I know in the area. I’m excited.”
Mike Miller, an assistant Principal at Cuyahoga Falls, coached Harris in football and said he is thrilled about the decision.
“It’s a great opportunity for Chris,” Miller said. “He hasn’t had the blessing of having a very stable family, which you guys documented in the paper. He has come from a tough situation and now he has this opportunity in front of him.”
Harris’ mother, Tiffany Harris, passed away in a house fire in East Cleveland when he was 10 and he never has met his father. He lived with two different families this year.
There is one catch though to Harris’ enrollment at UA.
“Chris is in the same spot as Jerome Lane of Firestone and Deon’Tae Moore of Kenmore, in that he is going to be a non-qualifier academically,” Miller said. “He is a very intelligent kid, and a great kid too, but this will all be for not if he doesn’t get it done in the classroom. He just needs to apply himself in the classroom, and I think he will.”
Harris said he vows to raise his grades to be eligible to play next year.
“Akron was looking at me during the season last year,” Harris said. “I know I need to improve academically to be able to play.”
Harris earned three letters in football as a tailback and cornerback on Miller’s teams. Harris received four letters in track and field as a versatile runner in sprint events, hurdles and relays for coach Keith Nelman.