Damian Harrell

Last updated
Damian Harrell
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1975-09-01) September 1, 1975 (age 43)
Miami, Florida
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: South Miami (FL) Senior
College: Florida State
Undrafted: 1998
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career Arena statistics
Receptions:1,164
Receiving yards:15,134
Touchdowns:358
Player stats at ArenaFan.com

Damian Deron Harrell (born September 1, 1975) is a former arena football wide receiver. He played college football at Florida State University.

Arena football style of indoor gridiron football

Arena football is a variety of indoor gridiron football played by the Arena Football League (AFL), China Arena Football League (CAFL), Champions Indoor Football (CIF) and others. The game is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game. The sport was invented in 1981, and patented in 1987, by Jim Foster, a former executive of the National Football League and the United States Football League. The name is trademarked by Gridiron Enterprises and had a proprietary format until its patent expired in 2007. Due to the patent, other indoor American football leagues that launched following the popularity of the original AFL developed variants on the arena rules.

A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.

College football collegiate rules version of American/Canadian football, played by student-athletes of American/Canadian colleges and universities

College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.

Contents

In his career, Harrell had also played for the New England Sea Wolves, Toronto Phantoms, and Colorado Crush and Chicago Rush. He had also been named AFL Offensive Player of the Year twice (2005 and 2006), First Team All-Arena twice (2005 and 2006), Second Team All-Arena twice (2004 and 2007), AFL Offensive Player of the Month twice (February 2003 and April 2006), Offensive Player of the Game 24 times, and Game MVP 10 times. He also holds numerous Arena Football League records.

Toronto Phantoms

The Toronto Phantoms were a professional arena football team based in Toronto, Ontario. The team was a member of the Eastern Division of the National Conference of the Arena Football League (AFL). The team also previously operated in New York City and Hartford, Connecticut.

Colorado Crush

The Colorado Crush were an arena football team based in Denver, Colorado. They began play as a 2003 Arena Football League as an expansion team. The Crush played in the Central Division of the American Conference until the Arena Football League suspended operations in 2009. They were last coached by Mike Dailey and owned by a coalition of Denver sports figures led by John Elway.

Chicago Rush arena football team from 2001 to 2013

The Chicago Rush were a professional arena football team based in Rosemont, Illinois. The team played at the Allstate Arena from 2001 to 2013. They were a member of the Central Division of the National Conference of the Arena Football League (AFL). Founded in 2001, the team qualified for the playoffs 11 out of 12 seasons and won one AFL championship, ArenaBowl XX in 2006. During their history, the Rush won five divisional titles and competed in the AFL Conference Championship six times, including four consecutive appearances from 2004 to 2007. They also had the largest market in the AFL.

High school career

At South Miami Senior High School, Harrell lettered in both football and basketball. During his junior year, he was once struck by lightning during practice and was hospitalized for nearly two weeks. He returned to the field for the final three games of the season.

Varsity letter

A varsity letter is an award earned in the United States for excellence in school activities. A varsity letter signifies that its winner was a qualified varsity team member, awarded after a certain standard was met.

High school football Secondary school competition in gridiron football

High school football is gridiron football played by high school teams in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both countries. It is also popular amongst American High school teams in Europe.

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

College career

Community College career

Harrell attended the City College of San Francisco for two years. He finished his community college football career with 67 receptions for 1,160 yards (17.31 avg.), and seventeen touchdowns.

City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco is a public community college in San Francisco, California. Founded as a junior college in 1935, the College plays an important local role, annually enrolling as many as one in nine San Francisco residents. CCSF is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Community college type of educational institution

A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries: many community colleges have an “open enrollment” for students who have graduated from high school. The term usually refers to a higher educational institution that provides workforce education and college transfer academic programs. Some institutions maintain athletic teams and dormitories similar to their university counterparts.

Florida State University

Harrell played two seasons at Florida State University (1995 and 1997), catching 36 career passes for 466 yards and four touchdownss, after transferring from City College of San Francisco. He red-shirted for the 1996 season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Harrell had 13 receptions for 178 yards and three touchdowns in his first season at Florida State. He recorded 23 receptions for 288 yards as a senior in 1997 but tore ligaments in his right knee in the season finale against Florida and missed the Seminoles win over Ohio State in the 1998 Sugar Bowl.

The 1995 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first year of the Bowl Alliance.

The 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season, play of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division I-A level, began in late summer 1997 and culminated with the major bowl games in early January 1998. The national championship was split for the third time in the 1990s. The Michigan Wolverines finished the season atop the AP Poll after completing a 12–0 campaign with a Big Ten Conference championship and a victory in the Rose Bowl over Washington State. The Nebraska Cornhuskers garnered the top ranking in the Coaches' Poll with a 13–0 record, a Big 12 Conference championship, and a win over Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. Michigan's Charles Woodson, who played primarily at cornerback, but also saw time on offense as a wide receiver and on special teams as a punt returner, won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first primarily defensive player to win the award. The 1997 season was the third and final season in which the major bowl games were organized under the Bowl Alliance system. The Bowl Championship Series was instituted the following year.

The 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the Florida Gators crowned National Champions, but not as unanimously as the Bowl Alliance would have hoped.

Professional career

New England Sea Wolves (1999–2000)

In 1999, Harrell was signed by Mike Hohensee and the New England Sea Wolves on January 18, 1999. He made his league debut April 23 during a road game against the Florida Bobcats. He finished his rookie season with 25 receptions for 362 yards and nine touchdowns.

The 1999 Arena Football League season was the 13th season of the Arena Football League. It was succeeded by 2000. The league champions were the Albany Firebirds, who defeated the Orlando Predators in ArenaBowl XIII.

Mike Hohensee American football player and coach

Michael Louis Hohensee is a former professional football quarterback who played in the United States Football League, Canadian Football League, National Football League and Arena Football League. He most recently the head coach of the AFL's Portland Thunder. He played college football at the University of Minnesota, and was in the AFL for two seasons, from 1987 to 1988. Hohensee has been a head coach since 1990, beginning at the Washington Commandos. He has served as head coach of eight different arena football franchises, winning ArenaBowl XX with the Chicago Rush in 2006.

Florida Bobcats

The Florida Bobcats were an Arena Football League (AFL) team based in Sunrise, Florida. They were previously known as the Sacramento Attack and the Miami Hooters, and played in the AFL for a total of ten seasons, the last seven in West Palm Beach and Sunrise in the Miami metropolitan area.

In 2000, Harrell played in the season's first seven games before suffering a broken left forearm during a road game in Buffalo and missing the rest of the season. He finished the season with 61 receptions for 808 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also rushed for two touchdowns and returned a kickoff return 48 yards for a touchdown. He was the league's leading receiver when his injury cost him the rest of the season.

Toronto Phantoms (2001–2002)

In 2001, Harrell moved with the Sea Wolves to Toronto. During the season, he recorded 98 passes for 1,340 yards and 20 touchdowns while playing in all 14 regular season games for the Toronto Phantoms. He finished the season ranked eighth in the AFL in receptions and fifth in receiving yards. He was named Game MVP three times during the regular season, and once in the playoffs. He had a season-high 10 receptions on the road against the Dragons and a season-high 140 yards receiving on the road against the Tampa Bay Storm.

Harrell re-signed with the Phantoms on March 20, 2002. [1] In 2002, Harrell recorded 92 receptions for 1,277 yards and 19 touchdowns in 13 games, finishing the season ranked fifth in the league in receiving yards and sixth in receptions. He recorded seven passes for a season-high 145 yards and four touchdowns in an overtime loss to the Dragons on the final day of the season. He also had a season-high 10 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown against the Indiana Firebirds.

Colorado Crush (2003–2007)

On December 12, 2002 [2] Harrell signed with the Colorado Crush.

In 2003, he started 14 games, recording 97 receptions for 1,426 yards and 38 touchdowns. He finished the season ranked ninth in the league in receptions, eighth in receiving yards and fourth in scoring (234 points). He was placed on Injured Reserve and missed the season's final two weeks with a dislocated left wrist suffered on the final play of the team's overtime loss against the Predators. He caught a season-high 11 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns on the road against the Las Vegas Gladiators. He was named the AFL's Offensive Player of the Month for February after catching 30 passes for 475 yards and 15 touchdowns in four games during the month. Harrell was voted MVP of the Game in Colorado's first game in franchise history, February 2 against the Force. He recorded eight receptions for 135 yards and five touchdowns.

In 2004, Harrell was voted Second Team All-Arena after recording 114 receptions for 1,715 yards and 43 touchdowns in 16 games. He finished the season ranked third in the league in receiving yards and scoring (258 points) and fifth in receptions. He was named Offensive Player of the Game seven times during the regular season and once in the playoffs. Harrell had 13 receptions for a career-high 208 yards and three touchdowns and was named Offensive Player of the Game on the road against the Detroit Fury. He was named Offensive Player of the Game after catching two touchdown passes in the game's final 12 seconds to lead the team to a season-opening 43-42 win against the Gladiators.

In 2005, Harrell was named AFL Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Arena after recording 122 receptions for 1,486 yards and 41 touchdowns and helping lead Colorado to the ArenaBowl XIX championship. He recorded eight receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns in the ArenaBowl win over the Force. He recorded a season-high 13 receptions for 130 yards and four touchdowns on the road against the New Orleans VooDoo. He was named Offensive Player of the Game against the Los Angeles Avengers after recording 10 receptions for 135 yards and five touchdowns. He was also named Offensive Player of the Game three other times during the season, on the road against the Arizona Rattlers, against the Gladiators and against the Nashville Kats.

In 2006, Harrell was named AFL Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Arena for the second-consecutive season after setting career highs with 152 receptions for 1,920 yards and a league record 60 touchdowns in 16 games. He was named AFL Offensive Player of the Month for April after recording 56 receptions for 642 yards and 21 touchdowns in just five games. This stretch included an against the Predators in which he recorded a career-high 15 receptions for 172 yards and five touchdowns and broke the league's single season record for touchdowns, the old record was 46. Harrell was also voted AFL Offensive Player of the Week twice (Weeks 12 and 14) and named Offensive Player of the Game 10 times during the regular season.

In 2007, Harrell was voted Second Team All-Arena after recording 132 receptions for 1,547 yards and 47 touchdowns in 16 games. He finished the season tied for fourth in the league in receptions, fourth in scoring (282 points) and seventh in receiving yards. He was named Offensive Player of the Game for the third time, against the Gladiators after recording nine receptions for 91 yards and four touchdowns. He had 10 receptions for 159 yards and a season-high six touchdowns on the road against the Chicago Rush. He recorded a season-high 14 receptions for a season-high 181 yards and three touchdowns on the road against the Philadelphia Soul. He was then named Offensive Player of the Game after recording 10 receptions for 154 yards and four touchdowns against the Rattlers. Harrell was named Offensive Player of the Game after recording eight receptions for 95 yards and three touchdowns in a season-opening loss to the Grand Rapids Rampage. [3]

Chicago Rush (2008)

On November 2, 2007, Harrell signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Rush. He began the 2008 season ranked second in league history in touchdown receptions (295), third in receiving yards (11,881) and fourth in receptions (893). He also ranked second in career 100-yard receiving games (58) and fourth in career five touchdown games (13).

In 2008, Harrell appeared in 15 games for the Rush, recording 94 receptions for 1,173 yards 25 touchdowns. In Week 2, he recorded his season high in receiving touchdowns with three. During Week 13 against the Utah Blaze, he tied his season-high in receptions with 10, and recorded a season-high 147 yards.

Harrell finished the season ranked fourth in league history in receptions (987), third in receiving yards (13,075), and first in receiving touchdowns (321). However, on August 28, 2008, he was released by the Rush. [4]

Milwaukee (2010–2011)

After taking a year off, Harrell returned to the game as member of the Milwaukee Iron in 2010. His first season with the team, he pulled in 100 receptions for 1,258 yards and 28 touchdowns.

In 2011, the Iron changed their names to the Milwaukee Mustangs, and Harrell was once again a member of the team. Harrell had since become the AFL's all time best receiver, as he now ranks 1st in receptions (1,164), receiving yards (12,134) and touchdowns (358). [5]

Coaching career

Milwaukee Mustangs (2012)

Following his retirement from playing, Harrell went right into coaching in 2012 as the wide receivers coach for the Mustangs. When the Mustangs suspended operations at the end of the 2012 season, Harrell stopped coaching.

Pittsburgh Power (2014)

Harrell joined the Pittsburgh Power in 2014 as the team's wide receivers coach. [6]

Personal

Harrell, along with his wife, Melani live in Denver during the off-season. They have two children, Deron, Malia. In May 1998, he received a bachelor's degree in criminology from Florida State University.

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References

  1. "Arena Football League Transactions". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. March 20, 2002. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  2. Crush lose Damian Harrell to Rush [ permanent dead link ]
  3. ESPN: Chat with Colorado Crush's Damian Harrell
  4. ESPN: Chat with Chicago Rush WR Damian Harrell
  5. Damian Harrell: As Much a Part of the AFL as Padded Walls and High Scores
  6. "Pittsburgh Power Add 40 Years of AFL Experience to Coaching Staff". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.