PULLMAN, Wash. — Tampa-native Travell Harris got his first dose of winter weather when he chose to play his college football at Washington St.
The Jesuit High School grad had never seen snow before he moved to Pullman. He quickly learned that he'd have to upgrade the thickness of his clothes.
"At first I had on just a regular hoodie. But after I got here, I had to get the big, puffy hoodie for the winter," Harris joked. "It was an amazing feeling at the time, man. I actually liked it."
Harris, a senior, leads the Cougars (4-4) with 51 receptions and 5 receiving touchdowns. He was also elected team captain by his teammates. But his leadership was put to the test in recent weeks after a mid-season shake-up.
Washighton St. fired head football coach Nick Rolovich and four assistants on October 18th after they refused a state-mandated COVID vaccine. Former assistant Jake Dickert was named interim head coach. He's the third head coach Harris has played for at WSU. Harris said he's going to step up his leadership skills to keep the locker room together.
"You have to stay mentally strong," Harris said. "With me being a vocal leader and a captain on this team, I just try to stay strong, help others out, and continue to keep the train going."
Despite his departure, Harris said he and his teammates have nothing but love for their former coach.
"As a team, overall, we respect, we love Coach Rolo. We stood behind him throughout everything," Harris added. "Wish things could’ve been different. To be honest, he was a great leader for us, a great coach, a great mentor for us. Forever Coach Rolo, man. He’s a great guy, great leader, great head coach, man. And I miss him."
Off the field, Harris is trying his hand at marketing. On his website, travellharris1.com, fans can buy all sorts of Harris merchandise. He's in the inaugural class of college athletes who are allowed to make money off of their name, image, and likeness.
Harris said his family helps him run the website because he's busy focusing on football. But he likes his friends, fans, and extended family members to be able to grab some gear with his name and number on it.
"They get paid a lot with TV deals and sponsorship deals and what not," Harris said about the NCAA and its member schools profiting off college sports. "But we’re actually the ones playing on the field and putting in all the hard work. It’s just getting started. It’s a great idea and a great thing for college athletes."
Washington St. is still in the hunt for a Pac-12 North division title. They play at Arizona St. Saturday at 3 P.M.