Harris says ‘yes’ to opportunity offer from WVSU

Published 12:47 am Friday, April 5, 2024

South Point Pointers standout lineman Dontae Harris signed a letter-of-intent to play for the West Virginia State University Yellow Jackets. Attending the signing ceremony are: seated left to right, cousin Sierra Hackworth, Dontae and aunt Amber Sloan; standing left to right, cousin Mary Bella, grandmother Mary Wright, brother Damon Harris, brother Marcus Sloan, mother Freddy Sloan, cousin Shyne Green and cousin Zy’on Sloan. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photo/For The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker


SOUTH POINT — When opportunity knocked, Dontae Harris didn’t just open the door. He tried to rip it off the hinges.

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The South Point Pointers’ senior standout lineman saw an excellent opportunity to play at the college level with the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets and he decided to accept the offer.

“They only signed three defensive linemen coming out of high school this year, so I’ve only got two guys to compete against coming from high school and I think they had a limited number of defensive linemen coming back, so I think I can come in and compete for a starter’s spot,” said Harris.

Dontae Harris

The 6-foot, 305-pound Harris was difficult for opposing linemen to block which should make him valuable on the defensive line for the Yellow Jackets.

Heidelberg University, Wilmington College and West Virginia State were the three finalists for Harris. After several visits and a lot of reflection, he picked West Virginia State.

“I went up there on visits and it just felt like home to me,” said Harris. “I think I went up there four times for visits and I loved it up there.”

Although Harris is looking forward to a chance to start early in his career, he has one real goal in mind.

“My goal is to go up there and make my dad proud,” Harris said regarding his father Damon Harris.

Besides football, Harris throws shot put and discus in track, He played football for an Ironton youth team but gave up the sport until he moved to South Point and began playing again in middle school.

Harris said there are a lot of factors in why he plays football, but the main reason is his teammates.

“It’s just the brotherhood. (Pointes running back) Blaine Freeman and some others showed me the sport and I just kept going. They’ve helped me through it,” said Harris.

While Harris was deciding to play at West Virginia State, Freeman and Craft were heading to Heidelberg University. Harris considered joining his teammates but eventually opted for the Yellow Jackets.

“That was a hard decision, especially because it was Blaine Freeman and Rece Craft,” said Harris. “But I had to do what was best for me at the end of the day.”

Pointers head coach Chris Davis thinks Harris will be successful at the next level regardless of the program.

“This is great for Dontae. It’s something he’s wanted and he’s been working for. I told him no matter where he went it was good for him,” said Davis.

With Harris, Freeman and Craft all headed to the next level, Davis said the trio’s impact on the program won’t be soon forgotten.

“Those three seniors meant a lot to this program,” said Davis. “We had 16 of them. They were all a part of what we did this past year and the past four years.

“We had to lose them, but this is a great opportunity for them and it’s great for the school to see this happening to them. We haven’t seen this for a long time and it’s building each year.”

Harris is undecided on a major but is leaning toward education.