Harris makes decision; Kentucky Wesleyan next stop for Viking standout

Friday, February 7, 2014
AJ Harris signs his letter of intent to play football at Kentucky Wesleyan in the 2014-2015 school year. Joining him as he signs are (standing, from left) Community Athletic Director Ralph Edwards, his father Allan Harris, mother Karen Harris, and Viking football coach Johnnie Frost. (T-G Photo by Chris Siers)

When it came time for Community Viking senior AJ Harris to decide on a college, his work began long before even the first kickoff of his senior season.

Harris spent last summer attending various combines and showcases in attempt to catch the eye of an interested college.

At long last, Harris inked his name on his letter of intent on Thursday afternoon, declaring his intentions to suit up with the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.

Kept asking

"It was really just them staying on me and wanting me to come visit. They were the first school to email me and want me to come visit," Harris said.

That initial interest proved to be enough to win the Viking defensive lineman over, though he had initially shown interest in Lindsey Wilson College.

But in the end, it was about fitting in somewhere he felt comfortable.

When making a decision on where to continue his football career, Harris consulted with Viking coach Johnnie Frost for advice on making the big decision.

Early chances

"They're (Kentucky Wesleyan) kind of in a situation where they've got a lot of underclassmen, sophomore wise. They're trying to get people in up there that they can they can get on the field now.

"That's one of the things he told me, 'I can play early,'" Frost said.

"That's big."

And while it's a smaller, Division II school, the hopes of early playing time at Kentucky Wesleyan were a helped Harris make his decision.

Lasting legacy

Throughout his senior season, Harris proved to be the leader on defense for the Vikings, providing mismatches on the line and coming up with a number of stops for Community. (T-G File Photo by Chris Siers)

Though his time in a Viking uniform has come to an end, Harris left quite the lasting legacy on Community High School.

"AJ is a fun loving character. You need people like that on your team to lighten up things and he did a good job of that--not to mention the effort he always gives," Frost said.

Frost also spoke of Harris' work ethic, which was one of the best on the team.

"He was always the first one to workouts and the last one to leave. Once he was on the field, he didn't want to come out of the game," Frost said.

Inspiration

And Frost hopes that the returning players will be inspired by Harris' hard work with the hopes they too can work hard enough to earn a college scholarship.

"Those were the positive things that stood out to me and I hope those are the things that other kids have seen and realize, if 'I do that too, that I can get to the next level like AJ is getting to,'" he said.

Though he hasn't received his official timetable for a start date, Harris will report to Owensboro, Ky. this summer in preparation for his freshman year.

Career plan

Though he's just going to be a freshman, Harris already has a tentative career plan picked out, choosing to study either Sports Management or Criminal Justice.

And after all his work time spent at combines and showcases hoping to find a school to call home for the net four years, Harris had just one comment.

"It's kind of like the end of the road where it all comes together. This is where it led me," he said.