One of the most prolific wide receivers in school history, Arizona State receiver N’Keal Harry (#1) has left his mark in the record books. His career got off to a fast start as he finished with 58 catches, which led all freshman receivers in the nation.
That total was also good enough to break former tight end Zach Miller‘s previous freshman record of 56 catches in 2004. Harry followed that up with an impressive sophomore campaign — 82 catches for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns.
He tied Jaelen Strong‘s single season catches record and finished as an All-Pac-12 First Team selection. These records are just a microcosm of the Sun Devils main target. Harry’s journey to the state of Arizona was an interesting one. He spent the early parts of his childhood living with his grandmother in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines — a small southern island located in the Caribbean Sea.
At the age of four, he moved to Tempe, Arizona, where he would enroll in Marcos de Niza, and then transferred to Chandler High School. After trying baseball, martial arts, basketball, soccer, and swimming, this is where he would be introduced to (American) football.
Native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines N’Keal Harry has officially tossed hit his hat into the draft ring. Last Monday, the star football wide receiver at Arizona State University, widely considered a top prospect for the 2019 NFL draft, ended media speculation by declaring his intention to enter the draft.
“I would like to say thank you to everybody in Sun Devil Nation — coaches, my teammates, all the media, all the fans,” N’Keal declared.
“This has been a great ride. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, something I will take with me for the rest of my life. And with that being said, I would like to forgo my senior season and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.”
Already there is widespread conjecture as to which NFL teams will pursue the talented star. When asked how N’Keal measures up to what teams are looking for in a draft pick, ASU Coach Herm Edwards said that he has it all.
“Does he love the game of football? He loves the game of football. There’s a lot of guys that like what football provides them. They don’t really like football.
“He likes football. He likes to compete. That’s the big check. Because now they’re going to pay you a check and they want to know that the guy they’re paying, he really likes this stuff. This is hard. This football thing’s hard. It’s easy to play in the game. But when you come to work every day, are you preparing to win? He prepares to win. … He checks all the boxes.”
According to Edwards: “He loves to compete. It’s a different football, the next level. It’s all about competition and you got to compete every day. It’s no longer a hobby. It’s your career, and you get judged on performance and how you compete every day.”
A rising star since he entered ASU in 2016, N’Keal has drawn the attention of the Arizona Cardinals’ star wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, who stated “He’s a much better college player than I was. He’s so physical. His hands are so strong.
“He can really track the ball over either shoulder. It’s been a real delight to be able to watch him play. I’ve pretty much watched every game he’s played. He’s a phenomenal talent.”
This is high praise in light of the fact that Fitzgerald was a 2004 first-round draft pick (third player taken overall) by the Cardinals.
Many are wondering if Harry will follow in his footsteps and get drafted in the first round by the Cardinals, as CBS Sports writer Chris Trapasso has predicted. While we can’t foresee the future, we are confident that any team that picks up this talented player will benefit from his natural ability and his skills honed at ASU.
When asked by a reporter why he thought he was ready to go professional, N’Keal responded, “Since I’ve been a little kid, I’ve just loved this game so much. When I thought about the NFL, I never thought about the NFL for the money.
“I thought about it because I really do love this game. I’ve poured my heart and soul out to this game. I’ve given it my everything. That’s what I’ll continue to do. Now I have the opportunity to go out and get my dreams; I feel like I need to do that.”
At ASU, N’Keal is third in school history in receptions, third in receiving yards, and fifth in touchdown receptions.
Coach Edwards praised him by saying “This young man has done a lot for this university as far as his ability to play football but also how he’s represented this university and this community. A lot of that goes to his upbringing, obviously, and has a lot to do with his grandma.”
The 2019 NFL Draft, to be held in Nashville, doesn’t take place until spring. The first round will be on April 25, followed by the second and third rounds on April 26 and rounds 4–7 on April 27.
The game that stole N’Keal’s heart at an early age — and required a lot of sacrifice from both him and his grandmother — is now giving him the opportunity to do what he loves as a career.
“I feel like now that I have an opportunity to go out and get my dreams, I need to do that,” he said. “Every day I’m working on myself as a person, and every day I’m working on myself as a player.
I just want to improve day by day, and I feel like the NFL is a good opportunity to do that.”