Player Profile: Frank Harris

The college football world may not have been familiar with UTSA quarterback before the 2021 season. All that would change following a fantastic season for Harris and UTSA in 2021. As a sophomore, Harris threw for 1,630 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 2020. Harris led the UTSA to a 7-4 regular season record in 2020, earning the Road Runners their second ever bowl appearance, a berth in the First Responders Bowl, where they lost to Louisiana 24-31. The 2020 season was year one of the Jeff Traylor regime, and the 7-5 record was the first winning season for the Road Runners since 2017, when the team went 6-5. If the 2020 season was a step in the right direction for the Road Runners, 2021 would prove to be a monumental leap forward for the program. More on the breakout 2021 season later.

So who is Frank Harris, and why should we care? Frank Harris was born in San Antonio, Texas; on March 27th, 1999, he attended Samuel Clemens high school in Schertz, Texas. According to goutsa.com, Harris was a four-year starter recognized as San Antonio Express-News All-Area Offensive Player of the Year and District 25-6A Offensive Player of the Year as a junior. Harris earned first-team All-District 27-6A honors as a senior, throwing for 946 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushing for 892 yards and12 touchdowns in eight games. Harris would enter the 2017 season at UTSA as a redshirt freshman but would have to sit out the 2018 season with an injury. In the 2019 season, sophomore Frank Harris would appear in four games for the Road Runners, completing 72.5% of his passes for 485 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Frank Harris chose to attend UTSA after his highly successful high school career and was named the starting quarterback by head coach Frank Wilson before the 2019 season.

The UTSA Road Runners made a coaching change following the 2019 season, parting ways with head coach Frank Wilson who posted a 19-29 record in four years at UTSA. The Road Runners brought in Jeff Traylor to lead the program. While Traylor had no college head coaching experience, he did boast three state championships during his 15 years as head coach at Gilmer high school in east Texas. Traylor also brought four years of collegiate experience serving as associate head coach and running backs coach at SMU and Arkansas, respectively. The combination of Frank Harris with Jeff Traylor’s “triangle of toughness” would turn the fortunes of UTSA and thrust Harris into the national conversation for the best quarterback in the nation.

The UTSA Road Runners entered the 2021 season hoping to build on the success of the team’s first winning season since 2017. Mission accomplished. The Road Runners finished the regular season with a 12-1 record capturing the team’s first-ever Conference USA championship. UTSA would wrap up the 2021 campaign, losing to San Diego State 24-38 in the Frisco Bowl. Frank Harris kicked down the door of college football during the 2021 season, a breakout year both statistically and in terms of wins and losses. Harris threw for 3,177 yards, a ridiculous 27 touchdowns, a 152.5 efficiency rating (all career highs), and only six interceptions en route to the program’s first-ever double-digit win season. https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxKr8ji84SpRfVw2vDhRDpPjaKmZ0EKwqZ

UTSA will leave Conference USA (C-USA) and join the American Athletic Conference (AAC) along with current C-USA members Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, and UAB following the 2022 season. The Road Runners will look to win their second straight C-USA championship in their last year with the conference. Frank Harris will have a trio of returning wide receivers to rely on in 2022. Zakari Franklin had 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021, Joshua Cephus caught 6 TDs and had 819 yards receiving, and De’Corian Clark added 755 yards and seven touchdowns for the Road Runners in 2021. The Road Runners’ leading running back, Sincere McCormick, went to the NFL following UTSA’s historic 2021 season, but the Road Runners landed Trelon Smith from Arkansas via the transfer portal. Brenden Brady has returned to UTSA and will join newcomers Tye Edwards and De’Anthony Lewis in the backfield.

The college football world has taken notice of Frank Harris and the Road Runners following the 2021 season. Harris has been named the Conference USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, in addition to several preseason watchlists. Harris earned a spot on the Davey O’Brien Award watchlist, awarded annually to the nation’s best quarterback. He also earned his way onto the Maxwell Award watchlist, which honors the college football player of the year, and the Walter Camp Player of the Year watchlist. Frank Harris was also named a Wuerffel Trophy nominee, which “honors college football players who serve others, celebrating their positive impact on society and their ability to inspire greater service in the world.” (utsatoday.edu

The 2022 season is upon, and the eyes of the college football world are set upon Frank Harris and the UTSA Road Runners. With an arsenal of offensive weapons at his disposal, Harris will build upon an historic 2021 season with an extremely tough non-conference schedule, including games against Houston, Army, and Texas to open the season. The two games highlighting the 2022 conference schedule are October 22nd, when the Road Runners will look to avenge last season’s lone conference loss against North Texas, and a road game on November 5th against UAB. In 2021 the Road Runners were a game away from a New Year’s 6 Bowl appearance. Year three in the “triangle of toughness” and a more experienced Harris should result in an undefeated season despite the more difficult schedule in 2022. The UTSA Road Runners and Frank Harris, in particular, will not sneak up on anyone this season. Only 26 days until the Road Runners welcome Houston to the Alamodome to open the 2022 season. Birds Up!

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