Raustin Harris inks intent to Hardin-Simmons University
La Vernia’s Raustin Harris signs his letter of intent April 12 to play football for the Cowboys of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Harris is joined by (back, from left) La Vernia Boys Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Bo Robinson; his brother, Ryan; Coach Kyle Andrews; Coach Gary Garvin; (front) his father, Ricky; and his mother, Beth.
He may have only been under center as the Bears’ quarterback for one season, but that’s all it took for Raustin Harris to prove he has what it takes. Now, after signing on April 12 with Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Harris will have his chance to do it again -- this time at the collegiate level.
Harris, a multi-sport athlete at La Vernia who excelled in football and basketball, considered attending several other schools. His short list included Abilene Christian University, Sul Ross State University, and the University of the Incarnate Word, but in the end, his visit to Hardin-Simmons sealed the deal.
“They treated me like I was at my own house,” Harris said. “I felt at home there.”
When Harris is at home there next fall, he plans to major in kinesiology, as he pursues a career in coaching.
When he thinks about leaving home for Abilene, Harris said he thinks what he will miss most of all is playing high school sports -- and football in particular.
“There is nothing like it,” he said.
Harris said his most memorable game was when the Bears beat the Giddings Buffaloes this year by the score of 21-20. It was the night they dedicated the new field in Bear Stadium, and it was the team’s first win of the 2010 season.
Beyond football -- Harris said he would also miss his friends and his family.
On the other side of that coin are all the things Harris is looking forward to. At the top of that list is the opportunity to play football again.
“I love the game,” he said. “I’m so grateful for the chance to play again.”
Harris is also looking forward to meeting new people, and taking advantage of any new opportunities that come his way. He said his parents fully support his decision, and indicated that they are nearly as excited as he is.
When asked about goals, Harris admitted he hasn’t set too many for himself, but he does have one big one in mind. He said he wants to make the traveling team this year, and in order to do that, he will need to be one of the team’s top three quarterbacks.
“That’s well within reach,” Harris said. “I should be able to do that. I want to be on that plane leaving for that first game.”
While playing college football means that his parents aren’t likely to attend every game, Harris’ parents are still thrilled for their son.
“He was dead set on playing football somewhere,” Ricky said. “We went up for a visit and things seemed to fit. The school -- the coaches -- everyone made him feel welcome.”
Like most parents, Ricky and his wife, Beth, are just as concerned about the academic side of things as they are with athletics. Ricky said the football program at Hardin-Simmons appeared to be “very focused on academics too,” something he was happy to see.
“I know he will get a good education,” Ricky said. “We are extremely proud of him.”