Harris’ 3rd ACL injury among latest round of IU injuries

For the third consecutive year, an ACL injury has ended J-Shun Harris’ season.

Harris, Indiana’s dynamic punt returner and slot receiver, suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s loss at Maryland and will not return this season.

It’s the latest setback in a college career full of them for Harris, who also missed the 2015 and 2016 campaigns due to preseason knee injuries.

“Heart breaks for him,” IU coach Tom Allen said Monday.

Harris’ determination and positive attitude in returning from back-to-back lost seasons was one of the uplifting stories of the fall. Harris, of course, was more than merely a good story.

He was a productive player for the Hoosiers, particularly on special teams.

Harris returned two punts for touchdowns earlier this season, including a 44-yard return at Virginia and a 70-yard return against Georgia Southern. He was twice honored as the Big Ten’s special teams player of the week. Harris ends the season ranked third nationally with an average punt return of 19 yards.

“Kid has been an absolute warrior to come back from the first two,” Allen said. “My heart breaks for him. He’s just overcome so much.”

Harris’ injury is only one of many the Hoosiers are dealing with entering the final month of the season.

Allen also confirmed Monday that receiver Donavan Hale will miss the remainder of the season due to an unspecified injury.

It’s also unclear which quarterback will start Saturday’s game against No. 4 Wisconsin. Starter Peyton Ramsey twice left Saturday’s game with apparent lower body injuries, opening an opportunity for backup Richard Lagow.

Allen classified Ramsey as “day-to-day.”

“He’s rehabbing to get himself squared away,” Allen said. “Yeah, he’s taken some hits and has that style of play. He is an amazingly tough kid.

“But Richard was ready to go on Saturday, and is going to have to be ready to go this week as well. We’ll get both guys really and see where we are later in the week.”

Ramsey isn’t the only hobbled player in Indiana’s backfield.

Running backs Morgan Ellison and Mike Majette did not travel to Maryland due to injuries. Allen is hopeful Ellison could return on Saturday, but doesn’t see Majette being able to play.

“Don’t think Mike will be ready yet, but he should hopefully be ready soon,” Allen said. “Just try to get as many guys back as we can. Got a lot of question marks on guys. Won’t know here until we start getting into the week heavy with our preparation. But the next guy has to step up and be ready to compete and perform at a high level.”


  1. WOW!! what bad luck….just wish the best for this young man!! the same thing has happen to Mickey Dudek at the University of Illinois…Both are slot receivers, both had breakout freshman years and both have had three ACL tears at the same time of the year. How sad for both of these young man. hopefully they both make full recovery and successful lives.

  2. Sometimes the harder one tries the more it becomes beating one’s head against a brick wall. This is very difficult for especially Harris, his family and those very close to him. It seems as though IU gets its share of players who have history of being injury prone that very good programs pass on. Then, when those players try to play at IU in big ten injuries to those players reappear. They look like stars against the likes of Charleston Southern or lesser competition but not so much in rigors of big ten level of play.

  3. It is a shame for Harris and IUFB. No one knows what decision he will make about his future as only he knows his determination to play football. I guess the saying that your knee is stronger after being repaired doesn’t hold up.

  4. The strength (wide receivers) of the IU football team has been destroyed….IU loses Nick Westbrook, Donovan Hale, and now J-Shun Harris out for the seasons. An Ian Thomas (TE) looks like he is day to day. I guess now we get to see if any of these reserve (wide receivers) recruits by Kevin Wilson are any good. Will the Phil Benker, Jonah Morris, Ty Fryfogle and Chirs Gajack see any playing time. We now get to see if Grant Heard can coach and identify talent in 2 and 3 star recruits versus the 5* recruits he coached that made pro. Now you have a starting qb that can get the ball deep sometimes, but no receivers that are capable of going deep. What a solid program IU football is.

  5. This news is heart breaking. He fought so hard to come back from his two previous injuries, and he was showing everyone the enormous talent he possessed. Some people are just prone to certain types of injuries. Regardless of how well his previous surgical repairs were performed, or how well he rehabbed, his skeletal alignment may simply not work in harmony with his running style and therefore he is more susceptible to these types of injuries. It’s just very sad. I wish him the best.

  6. I wouldn’t count this young man out of anything. To have the guts and fortitude to come back from his previous devastating injuries shows he doesn’t know the meaning of quit. His heart is the only alignment that matters. I have a feeling he’ll be back…If not back as a Hoosier, we’ll probably see him going to an NFL combine/open tryout in four years and landing an invite to a roster. He’s extremely talented and fearlessly wired. I put money on his return.

  7. No question, J Shun has the heart. He is good and I am a fan, but enough is enough. At some point one has to preserve one’s body. In reality, silly cheering-on thoughts. If he were to come back it will always be with limitations neutralizing his potential ability thus, limiting his effectiveness. A 3 star Ball State recruit decommitted to go to IU. Did well when not continually injured. However, he did look fast especially against lesser competition like many other IU players until competition talent level increases to the top of big ten. He still was good and effective. Wisconsin him well.

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