(ASU) – Vincentian football star and Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry has long wanted to make it in professional football so that he could help provide for his family, particularly the grandmother who raised him.
That dream is about to come to fruition.
The NFL draft begins Thursday and runs through Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., and Harry leads the handful of players with Arizona college connections who could hear their names called.
Harry will be called, it’s just a matter of when and by whom.
Mock drafts have him going anywhere from the late-first round to the mid-second round. And while he wouldn’t mind playing for his hometown Arizona Cardinals, he has tried not to overthink the possibilities.
Harry, a graduate of Chandler High School, had a stellar career for the Sun Devils with 213 receptions for 2,889 yards and 22 touchdowns. He ranks third in school history in receiving yards and receptions and fifth in touchdowns, but likely would own all marks had he chosen to play four years and not opt to forgo his senior season.
He was among the handful of players ESPN featured in a documentary entitled “Hey Rookie,” a behind-the-scenes look at preparing for and participating in the NFL combine.
He says his support team did a good job of preparing him for the rigorous process but he was surprised with the amount of travel involved from workouts to interviews and other appearances.
Harry, 21, will not be in Nashville for the draft. He spent a few days there earlier this week taking part in some pre-draft festivities but is home in Chandler now. He plans to remain in the area and enjoy the time he has with those closest to him.
Harry moved from the tiny Caribbean island of St. Vincent to Arizona with his grandmother, Felna Harry, when he was 4, in order to take advantage of the better opportunities in this country.
Felna Harry retired from her job in the Caribbean, but at times worked two jobs to help support N’Keal. Meanwhile, she attended every one of his games.
N’Keal Harry has kept in touch with his family members in St. Vincent but had only seen them on a few occasions until they arrived in Phoenix earlier this week in order to be with him on the big day.
“We’re making up for lost time,” he said. Now he hopes to repay his grandmother for the sacrifices she made in his younger years.
“It means a lot for me to be able to take care of her. That’s the least I can do,” Harry said.
The fact that a young boy’s dream is about to come true is starting to sink in.
“I am blessed to be in this position,” he said, “This has always been my dream and it’s about to come true so I am more excited than anything else. I’m a little anxious about where I might end up but I’ll be thrilled no matter what happens.”
This will make the sixth straight season in which ASU has had at least one player drafted.