After signing with his home-state Detroit Lions in 2011, Harrison was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. During the routine physical after the trade, doctors discovered a benign brain tumor and he underwent extensive surgery. What was originally thought to be a relatively routine, three-hour procedure quickly grew complicated. The operation took 12 hours and his early prognosis was grim and grew more complicated when he developed a blood clot the next day and suffered a stroke. There were concerns he might not wake up, and that if he did he might not be able to walk or talk. He survived, but the walking and talking part required massive rehabilitation and a ton of grit. With the help and encouragement of friends and family – and the unwavering support of his wife, Michelle, he recovered. Michelle, who was pregnant with Jerome Jr. when the tumor was discovered, has described the process as “a beautiful struggle.” Naturally, she was with him Friday for his Hall of Fame induction. So was Jerome Jr. Harrison said he was glad to be back in Cougar Country and was excited to see the many improvements that have been made on the Washington State campus. “I’ve heard a lot about it, but I’ve only seen pictures so far,” I’m looking forward to seeing it all in person.”
HARRISON PLAYED SIX SEASONS IN THE NFL, 4 1/2 WITH THE CLEVELAND BROWNS (Getty).
Asked if he truly understands the deep affection Cougar fans still have for him, a decade after his final game in a crimson (an Apple Cup victory, by the way), Harrison said he knows it’s there “but at the same time, not really.” “Being away from Pullman I don’t have that closeness I used to have. But I have teammates and friends that I stay in contact with – Hamza Abdullah and Erik Coleman – they remind me.” Harrison said it was humbling to be included in the 2015 Hall of Fame class – many of whom dropped by his table, including Trufant and Lamont Thompson, who sat at adjoining tables. During his acceptance remarks (video below) he thanked his old Cougar offensive linemen -- many of whom were on hand -- for their immaculate protection. In so many ways, Jerome Harrison is quick to give thanks.
IN TWO CAREER GAMES AGAINST THE HUSKIES, HARRISON RUSHED FOR MORE THAN 350 YARDS AND COLLECTED TWO VICTORIES. HERE HE SCORES AT HUSKY STADIUM IN 2005, HIS LAST GAME IN CRIMSON.
SHOWN HERE IN 2004 AT UCLA, HARRISON, THEN A JUNIOR, SERVED NOTICE OF THE GREATNESS THAT WAS TO COME AS HE TORCHED THE BRUINS FOR 247 YARDS AND 3 TOUCHDOWNS.