Towanda's Harris finding success on, and off, the field
Throughout his football career Towanda graduate Adam Harris has received plenty of accolades for his accomplishments on the field.
This week, the Syracuse University fullback was nominated for another big award, however this time it was for his work off the field.
Harris was nominated for the 2011 All State AFCA Good Works Team. There are 132 nominees and from the nominees two teams of 11 will be selected and announced in late September.
While Harris is a volunteer at the Syracuse Justice Center and serves on the Syracuse Leadership Council, it's his work in his hometown that he's most proud of.
"It's a great honor," Harris said of being nominated for the award. "I take a lot of pride in trying to do my best on the field and off the field. I try and be consistent in everything I do.
"I try and be able to give back to Towanda a little bit because they have done so much for me. Whether it is going to a pee-wee practice, or working with the high school kids in the weight room or trying to talk to them about their options after school, it's something I like to do."
Right now it's hard for Harris to help a lot in person, but he tries to keep in contact with current Towanda students as much as possible.
"I'm in Syracuse Monday through Friday and only home on weekends," Harris said. "But, whether it be through Facebook or whatever, I try and keep in touch with the guys if they need anything and come this Friday I'll be back and be able to work with some of the guys."
Whenever Harris talks to current players, he tries to let them know that it is possible to go from the NTL and play football and have success at the college level.
"A lot of them message me and ask what it takes," Harris said. "The main thing I keep telling them is you may be from a small town, but we play good football up here. If you want to play football in college, you can do it."
And, a year ago Harris was able to start for a Syracuse team that earned a spot in a bowl game. This year, he's hoping for more of the same success from the Orange.
"It's one of those deals where I hope we are able to pick up where we left off and just keep trying to take it to the next level," Harris said. "Me personally, I'm just so excited. We start camp on Aug. 4 and I'm ready to go."
Things will be different for Harris this year. After blocking for one of Syracuse's all-time leading rushers in Delone Carter, this year the fullback will be opening up holes for Antwon Bailey.
"It's definitely going to be a change up," Harris said. "A lot of people worry about his size, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in heart.
"Antwon and I got a lot of work together in the Spring and he played a big role last year, so it won't be that weird. At the same time, it's going to be very different not having Delone around."
It wasn't long ago that Harris was a defensive player, transferring into Syracuse from Cornell as a walk-on and then making the transition to fullback. Now with the departure of Carter in the backfield, Harris is one of the veterans on the offense.
"It's quite odd to be honest," Harris said. "It seems like it wasn't to long ago that I was walking on here and now I'm looked up to as being in a leadership role."
Whatever the Orange do on the field this year, Harris will continue to work hard to be a success off the field as well.
"You definitely never want to be just a one-dimensional person," he said. "You want to be successful at everything you do. It's something coach (Doug) Marrone preaches. He wants you to be successful not only on the field, but also in life. And, that's something I have worked toward."