Eastern High School football star Tre Harrison is working through an identity crisis.
“I don’t know if I’m a running back catching the ball or a wide receiver running the ball,” explained the hybrid senior who has helped the Eagles to a 6-2 record and No. 5 ranking in the Kentucky Associated Press poll.
“It’s kind of confusing.”
Unfortunately for opposing defenses, the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder’s positional ambiguity has not hindered his production.
The receiver/running back (or running back/receiver) has broken out this year as one of the city’s top playmakers, leading the Eagles in both rushing – 489 yards on 53 carries – and receiving – 678 yards on 46 catches.
“He’s one of those players that makes you look great as a coach,” said first-year Eastern coach Stephen Ruckman. “You may call some play that is averagely executed, but he finds a way to make it look like it was a brilliant call.”
Harrison also plays safety and has nabbed three interceptions, but it’s as a slippery runner that the three-year starter has made a name for himself.
Big-yardage plays are elemental, according to Harrison: “You make the first guy miss and then treat the next guy like the first guy.”
That simple strategy has paid significant dividends.
In Eastern’s season-opening 29-25 win at Jeffersonville, Harrison carried 17 times for 100 yards, including a pair of crucial fourth quarter TDs. Two weeks later he exploded for 303 all-purpose yards and three scores in a 41-29 win against Collins.
“He’s sure-handed and gets you the yards in the windows,” said Ruckman. “You better put more than one person on him pretty quick because whenever he gets his shoulders going north and south he turns five or six-yard hitches into 30 or 40-yard plays.”
Last Friday Harrison tallied his sixth rushing TD and 11th overall in a 51-7 throttling of district opponent Oldham County.
Despite Harrison’s body of work on the field, attention from college coaches has been scant. When asked to gauge the interest level of the few teams that have contacted him, Harrison responded with a laugh, “I would say very low.”
Ruckman, however, is optimistic about Harrison’s potential at the next level.
“He’s going to end up at a good place because he is dadgum good,” he said.
While Harrison is the most prolific cog in the Eastern spread option, he is not the only standout.
Best friend and classmate Shane Fields has gained 464 yards on only 21 catches (22.1 yard average) with 7 TDs. Fields also has three interceptions and 46 tackles as a defensive back.
Austin Kessler, a senior receiver, has hauled in 20 passes for 342 yards and a pair of TDs.
Quarterback Cody Wolfe has thrown for 14 TDs, run for seven more and piled up 1,812 yards on 103-of-208 passing with eight interceptions.
“We definitely have the talent to make a deep playoff run,” said Ruckman, whose team’s only losses came to Butler on Aug. 31 and Ballard on Oct. 4. “We should win the rest of our games this season. They make you play them, though, so it comes down to execution on the field.”
The Eagles set a goal of breaking the school’s single-season wins record of 11, and with two regular-season games remaining, Harrison is confident they can win out and surpass that mark in the playoffs.
“We’re not losing anymore (in the regular season),” he said. “That’s a guarantee.”
Eastern’s remaining regular-season games:
At Fern Creek, Friday Oct. 19, 7:30
Home vs. Western, Oct. 26, 7:30
CAL’s Trenaman Tabbed for All-Star Game
Christian Academy’s Hunter Trenaman was recently selected to play in the inaugural Football University (FBU) International All-Star Games slated for Jan. 1-5 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The five-team showcase (United States, Europe, Canada-Montreal, Canada-British Columbia and Mexico) will feature more than 160 U-19 players from North America and Europe chosen based on game footage and performance at FBU camps.
Trenaman, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound offensive/defensive lineman, has 33 tackles this season for the Centurions (6-2).
The senior also boasts a 4.2 GPA and was named to the KHSAA All-State Academic Team last season.
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org.