Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas two-sport athlete Jawuan Harris has a big decision coming up, and neither choice looks like a bad one to the incoming freshman.
Harris broke out as a senior outfielder in baseball after he signed his National Letter of Intent for Rutgers football. By the end of June, he has to choose one.
Harris worked out for professional teams this week, and projects as a high- to mid-round MLB Draft pick. Though he remains with his eyes on Rutgers football, a strong enough signing bonus could change his mind.
Harris said he does not have an exact financial figure in mind but 10th round picks in 2014 made anywhere from $135,300 to $139,400 in last year’s signing bonuses.
“It’s very cool, and it was something I definitely didn’t see coming,” said Harris, who improved his batting average from .191 to .440 from his junior to senior year. “I had a pretty good year and that’s when everything started to come into place. It’s exciting, but I wouldn’t say I expected it.”
Education played a major role in Harris’ commitment to Rutgers in January of this year, and the chance for a college degree outweighs many options in baseball. Harris does not have an agent, nor has he looked seriously at signing one going into the June 8 MLB draft.
“Education is the big one,” Harris said. “Even if you did go to the pros for a sport, you still have that degree to fall back on.”
Should Harris stick with the college page, he expects to be a two-sport athlete for the Scarlet Knights as a scholarship wide receiver in the fall and walk-on outfielder in spring.
“Time management is the [challenge], and I’ve managed my time well,” Harris said.
Harris pushed his enrollment date from May to June because of baseball, and will not make a final decision until after the baseball draft concludes.
“I’ve talked to Rutgers a little bit but not too much about everything,” Harris said. “… I’m excited about it. I want to make a huge impact on the football and baseball field and also in the classroom.
“I love the coaching staff. They’re very supportive and they want to know what they can do to help. It’s very encouraging that they care about your well-being and not just what you do on the field.”