Harris, the greatest player in UTSA history, holds 34 school records. On Friday, he threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Roadrunners to their second straight Conference USA championship.
Harris completed 71 percent of his passes this year for 3,865 yards, 31 touchdowns and ran for 588 yards and nine TDs as the Roadrunners, who were ranked No. 25 in the College Football Playoff’s final rankings, are headed to the Cure Bowl.
Now, with UTSA headed to the AAC next season, coach Jeff Traylor lobbied his fans to ante up the name, image and likeness money to keep Harris in San Antonio after the C-USA title game.
“I’d make it really hard for him to leave,” Traylor said afterward. “He’s fun to watch. That’s the best money you could ever spend.”
On Wednesday, Harris made his announcement at the offices of the PM Group, a San Antonio advertising, marketing and branding agency. The San Antonio Express-News reported that PM Group CEO Bob Wills said they had worked out a deal in the six figures and that the agency had “agreed to fund the NIL compensation to secure the Conference USA MVP.” No figures were disclosed.
It’s one of the most interesting cases of NIL yet at the Group of 5 level, allowing a team to retain the face of the program when he could’ve gone to the NFL or jumped to a bigger school.
“For him to come back one more year is gonna give us a tremendous boost going to the AAC,” Traylor told ESPN. “Our receivers will be thrilled, our recruits will be thrilled, our team will be thrilled. Everybody’s gonna be thrilled. It’s a big boost. It’s a great day in the city of San Antonio.”
Harris redshirted in his first season in 2017, missed all of 2018 with an injury then was limited to four games the next season after suffering another season-ending injury. After both the redshirt and medical redshirts, he is eligible for a seventh season due to the COVID waiver granted to players by the NCAA. He is responsible for more than 10,000 yards of total offense at UTSA.
Traylor, who is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award and was named CUSA coach of the year on Wednesday, said he was appreciative of the city’s support to keep Harris and continue to build the fledgling program, which went 12-2 last year and is 11-2 so far this year.
“It’s gonna take a huge commitment from a lot of people in the city,” Traylor said. “We might not have as many billionaires as some cities do, but we got a bunch of people. If everybody gives a little, those kids are really fun to watch.”