ACL injury will sideline J-Shun Harris for 2nd year #iufb

For the second consecutive year, a knee injury will keep Indiana receiver J-Shun Harris off the field.

Harris will miss the upcoming season after tearing his ACL during IU’s scrimmage on Saturday. The redshirt sophomore from Fishers was coming off an ACL injury to his other knee that kept him sidelined for the entire 2015 season.

Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said the latest injury happened in a non-contact situation when Harris caught a pass and planted his foot.

“J-Shun was gonna be pretty dynamic out there,” Wilson said. “Great kid, so that’s unfortunate. Love that kid. That was tough, but he’s doing good. … It’s kind of harder for some of the medical guys and coaches because he’s a great kid. He’s worked hard. He played as a freshman. We took a lot of time where we didn’t push him back through spring ball, being a smaller guy, to get him well. He was really having a pretty dynamic camp.”

Harris emerged as a reliable target during his freshman year in 2014, catching 18 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. His performance that season prompted 247 Sports and Big Ten Network to name him as one of the league’s top freshmen.

Harris tore the ACL in his other knee during the first week of workouts last summer and his return this year would have given IU serious depth in the slot. Mitchell Paige stepped up in Harris’ absence last season and entered camp as a projected starter.

Indiana will also work in redshirt freshman Isaac James, a speedy athlete from Carmel, along with freshman Kiante Enis, who was also considered at running back. Ricky Brookins, too, will see time in the slot.

“We lost Shane (Wynn to graduation last year), well Mitchell answered the call,” Wilson said. “Then when J-Shun came back it was like, ‘Wow!’ There were two dynamic players. It’ll be critical for us to see Isaac James and Brookins, or some of those guys. Like I said, we’re talking about Kiante (at slot) because we’re gonna need somebody besides Mitchell. We need two or three out there.

“It’s a big blow to the team, but J-Shun is a great kid and his spirits have been high. I compliment him on that, but once you get surgery and start rehabbing, that’s when it gets tough. Right now, his body language and his verbiage is nice, but it’s tough. It’s tough.”

Cole Gest, another incoming freshman, has the potential to fill various roles for IU’s offense, but Wilson likes him in the backfield.

“He’s a little bit more of a running back,” Wilson said. “We’re playing those two big guys as some big backs with Tyler (Natee) and Clyde (Newton), which is nice, but we kind of got Cole in the Mix with Devine (Redding) and (Mike) Majette. So those guys are at tailback.”

Harris isn’t the only Hoosier expected to miss time this fall.

Defensive lineman Robert McCray will soon undergo surgery to repair a shoulder injury he suffered last week. Wilson believes McCray could miss the first half of the season.

6 comments

  1. Really tough break for Harris who seems to be a really good kid. Hope he’s able to get another redshirt year. This could be a blessing in disguise as he may now get 2 years as the starter once Paige graduates. Glad to see we have so much quality depth behind him. McCray hurts more as we don’t seem to have a lot of impact players on the d-line to begin with so his loss may mean someone that isn’t ready to play gets a lot time on the field. The d-line seems to be the last position group that just isn’t up to B1G standards for size, speed and depth. That changes next year with the incoming class. Hope we can get by this year with smoke and mirrors.

  2. Tough break for SH and IU fb team. Any injury in IU fb situation is not a blessing in disguise. They need all they have. Team needs all they have and can ill afford injury bug. (Sometimes if one player gets hurt and another significant player gets hurt in the same position then problem becomes major). However, as long as others such as Paige stays healthy that is a good thing.

  3. It’s heart breaking for this talented young man. But that’s why depth is so vital to a college football problem. IU will be O.K. at wide receiver this season, and hopefully both of Harris’s knees will be stronger next year.

  4. What a tough break for a great kid! Rehab…rehab…rehab! You should have have 3 big years starting in 2017! Go for it!

  5. Losing two seasons in a row is a very difficult thing to deal with especially when dealing with knee injuries. He worked so hard to get back, is making some noise yet the other knee goes out. It has to be devastating to be faced with this again but I hope he can fight through this to keep up in school and finish up at IU the way he chooses. He may be that special player that comes back from these and has a great career or choose a career through school. I am sorry to see him deal with this again as no player should deal with two devastating knee injuries.

  6. I’ll echo each of your comments, and Wilson, too. He’s a great kid. Love chatting with him. Bummed to hear about this, especially after talking with him last week. Not sure how many more practice windows Wilson will open for us as the first game week approaches, but interested to see more of James and Enis.

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