Redbird Football Adds Harris To Defensive Front
Aug. 6, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - On the eve of the start of fall training camp, Illinois State head football coach Brock Spack announced the addition of transfer defensive end Shelby Harris to the Redbird roster. Harris, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound defensive end, transferred to Illinois State from Wisconsin and will join former Wisconsin teammates Erik Smith and Leonard Hubbard as a Redbird.
The Milwaukee, Wis., native was named the Badgers' scout team player of the week for the Michigan State game in 2009, as he sat out the season as a redshirt. He will have four years of eligibility remaining at Illinois State.
"Shelby fills an immediate need for us on the defensive line," Spack said. "We are short numbers wise at defensive end and wanted to add someone with experience, but someone who also wasn't just going to be here for a year or two. With four years of eligibility remaining, Shelby fit the mold of what we were looking for and is a very talented, athletic pass rusher. We're excited to have him."
During his prep career at Homestead High School under head coach Dave Keel, Harris was ranked as the 16th-best defensive end in the nation and the No. 2 player in Wisconsin after his senior season. He was a first-team all-state selection by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) and the Associated Press (A.P.) and was also tabbed as an all-region, all-suburban and all-conference pick after his final year. During that season, he finished with 87 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery, while serving as the team captain and helping Homestead to a state championship.
As a junior in 2007, Harris earned first-team all-state, all-region, all-suburban and all-conference plaudits and was named the WFCA and conference defensive player of the year. He recorded 106 tackles, six sacks, two blocked punts, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery that season and was also member of the state championship team as a sophomore.
Harris will take the field for the first time with the rest of his teammates Saturday, August 7, when the Redbirds officially begin fall training camp. He will vie for time on the defensive line for the Redbirds, where Spack hopes to have a strong rotation of players throughout the season.
"We like to have nice eight-man rotation on the defensive line if we can," Spack said. "We have returners back in Nick Broome and Jake Detmers, but felt like we needed to bring in another end. Shelby will get his chance for playing time, along with Colton Underwood and Bradon Prate, and really gives us the depth we needed."
Illinois State opens the 2010 season Thursday, Sept. 2, against Central Missouri. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT at Hancock Stadium.
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