Vincentian footballer declares for NFL Draft

N’Keal Harry.
Dawn Dopwell

Arizona State University’s (ASU) junior wide receiver, Vincentian N’Keal Harry says he will forgo senior season to enter the 2019 NFL draft.

“First of all, I would like to say thank you to everybody in Sun Devil nation, the coaches, my teammates, all the media, all the fans,” said Harry at a news conference on Nov. 26.

“This has been a great ride,” he added. “This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, something that I will take with me for the rest of my life.

“With that being said, I would like to forgo my senior season and declare for the 2019 NFL draft,” continued Harry, who was born on Dec. 17, 1997.

The 6-foot-4, 213-pound receiver is projected as a potential first-round pick, according to Arizona Sports 98.7FM.

It said that, although Harry seemed destined for the NFL, “from the day he stepped on the ASU campus and began producing, a steady supply of highlight plays nearly every football Saturday, the decision to leave behind teammates and a fan base was not one he took lightly.”

“This definitely was not an easy decision,” Harry said. “I truly grew up at this university. This place has given me opportunities I only dreamt of, and I’m forever thankful for that.”

Harry, a local product of Chandler High, was about four years old when he left St. Vincent and the Grenadines for Arizona with his grandmother, Felna, who was there for the announcement.

Harry began his high school career at Marcos de Niza before transferring to Chandler, where he won a football state championship in 2014, 98.7FM said.

It said he was one of the most highly touted recruits in the nation and rated as the top recruit in Arizona by multiple scouting publications.

With schools like Oregon and Texas A&M as suitors, Harry chose to stay home, in part, to remain close to his grandmother, the radio station said.

“It was 100-percent worth it,” Harry said of his decision to remain in-state and attend ASU. “This state has given me so much. Being just a kid from a small island, ending up in Arizona. This state means the world to me.”

Harry accumulated 213 receptions, 2,899 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns, catching a pass in every game during his career at ASU, 98.7FM.

It said his receiving yards and receptions rank third in school history.

At his size, Harry is a prototype NFL wide receiver, 98.7FM said.

Harry said the NFL was always a dream for him, not for the money but for the love of the game, according to 98.7FM.

“I feel like, now that I have the opportunity to go out and get my dreams, I feel like I need to do that,” he said.

Last month, the Louisville Sports Commission said that Harry was named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll.

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its ninth season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung, ASU said.

It said the winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner, presented by Jewish Hospital Sports Medicine, to be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2019.

This will be the Paul Hornung Award’s third year as an associate member of the National College Football Awards Association, ASU said.

According to ASU’s Craig Morgan, Harry’s grandmother brought him from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the Phoenix metro area, “with the blessing of his mother, to allow for more opportunity.”

He said Harry tried several sports as a kid; soccer, football and basketball, among others.

“His grandmother had hoped he would choose a less dangerous sport, but agreed to let him play football,” Morgan said, adding that Harry starred at Chandler High School after transferring from Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, earning five star recruiting honors from, and was noted by many recruiting services as one of the top wide receiver recruits in the country.

In his junior season, Harry caught 13 touchdown passes on 30 catches for 657 yards.

In the 2016 season opening game against Northern Arizona University, ASU said Harry became just the ninth true freshman in school history to start a season opener.

In his freshman season, it said Harry posted 58 catches for 659 yards and five touchdowns.

Additionally, ASU said Harry ran for 69 yards and scored twice and completed a 46-yard pass of his own.

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