Syracuse Alum, Adam Harris, Isn't Ready to Let a Third Concussion Take Away a Shot at the NFL

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May 24, 2012 03:18 PM EDT
Adam Harris
Adam Harris's career was supposed to end after his third concussion. After getting cleared by two neurological professionals, Harris is determined to make an NFL roster even though he is starting the process late."

Adam Harris will not be taking part in any of the OTA's scheduled for this week.  He didn't set foot on a practice field during the 2012 rookie mini-camps either.

The former Syracuse FB did not enter in the 2012 draft despite aspirations of playing professional football.  He isn't a UDFA.  He doesn't even have an agent yet.

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In the span of the last six days, Harris received two medical confirmations from neurological experts that he can, in fact, return to the football field. Despite three concussions, Harris is anxious to suit up again.

Towards the end of 2011, Harris left the Orange's matchup against Cincinnati with a concussion.  Though he claims that he was never actually "knocked out," the injury registered as his second during his three year Syracuse career.

"They told me my career was done here (Syracuse University)." Said Harris. 

Opting to be cautious (a decision that proves especially wise during the recent investigations into the dangers of head injuries in football), Syracuse offered Harris an opportunity to acquire his masters in exchange for joining the track & field team. 

But football still coursed through his veins and he began to feel that perhaps a second opinion wouldn't hurt. 

"There was a slim chance that I'd be cleared." Said Harris. "But at the very least it would bring closure."

After receiving the green light from both UPMC Medical Center and the Pittsburgh Steeler's neurologist, Harris is determined, but also a bit late.

Unlike other potential rookies that go undrafted, Harris is still unable to be signed.  When he officially signs with a prospective agent, he will have already missed a significant portion of the offseason team activities. 

But Harris understands the odds and with 320 extra preseason roster spots available to teams this year (10 per club) Harris is optimistic that perhaps he'll catch a lucky break. He doesn't see his predicament as too large of a disadvantage.

"It's an intimidating process no matter how you approach the situation.   I can only control the things that I can control.  Those are effort and hard work. "  Harris  continued, "If teams give me a shot, great.  If not, I'll be at pro days next year."

But football isn't Harris's only backup plan.  In addition to returning to Syracuse for a year of graduate study, he is also weighing options in the industrial engineering field.  Harris has had serious discussions with several suitors, including Lockheed Martin, who are considering him for their leadership development program. 

 

Former Syracuse RB Delone Carter reaches the end zone during the first ever New Era Pinstripe Bowl in December, 2010.  Carter enjoyed rushing success at Syracuse, thanks in part to the blocking of FB Adam Harris.  Carter is now an Indianapolis Colt.  (Photo: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine)
Former Syracuse RB Delone Carter reaches the end zone during the first ever New Era Pinstripe Bowl in December, 2010. Carter enjoyed rushing success at Syracuse, thanks in part to the blocking of FB Adam Harris. Carter is now an Indianapolis Colt. (Photo: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine)

 

 

 

When asked if the recent speculation surrounding Junior Seau's suicide affects his mentality towards playing post concussion number three, Harris does not seem rattled.

"When properly taken care of, concussions are just like any other injury.  I've taken the proper precautions, done the things necessary to make sure that everything has healed properly before I returned."

Harris began his collegiate career at Cornell where he played LB.  Both a LB and HB in high school, Harris opted to switch sides when he transferred to Syracuse in 2009. 

In 2010, he helped lead Syracuse Football to a victory in the inaugural New Era PinStripe Bowl which is played at Yankee Stadium. 

He graduated this month from Syracuse with a degree in both marketing and management.  If he does decide to return to school, he will receive his masters in new media management. 

 

 

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