He probably willl start out this fall on the scout team, and then it will remain to be seen whether he becomes Bill Snyder’s next great dual-threat quarterback.
But it’s official — Chris Harper is transferring to Kansas State. He will redshirt this season, and he’ll have three seasons of eligibility for the Wildcats.
“I’m all set,” said the former Northwest High star this morning, adding he’ll be under scholarship. “I talked to Coach Snyder, Coach Miller, Joe Bob (Clements)æ.æ.æ. I talked to my family a while back about this, but I didn’t want to talk to (the media) about it.”
Harper spent the past season at Oregon, where he was used in a variety of offensive roles. He might have been one of the Ducks’ starting receivers this year, but he sensed opportunity in Manhattan.
“I’m definitely going to be a quarterback,” he said.
To meet that goal, the work has already begun. Harper was in Tulsa over the weekend for a camp, receiving instruction from Darin Stack, who runs a quarterback academy in Orlando, Fla. Harper said he didn’t throw with any consistency after slightly tearing his rotator cuff upon arriving in Eugene. As a result, he tinkered with his delivery, dropping to sidearm, a la Vince Young.
“It’s a whole new philosophy,” Harper said. “I’m trying to get to a point where my arm doesn’t hurt. I have to get more comfortable with the motion, but it works. It just has to become more natural. I’m throwing more with my entire body. I can throw it 20 yards on a line, and I just learned it.
“I’ve just started, and after I incorporate my legs I’m going to keep working with these guys all summer.”
Harper’s athletic gifts are abundant. His ability to throw, however, has been questioned. But once word began to circulate he was coming home, the well-wishers were everywhere, all anxious to see him in purple and white.
“There are a lot of people excited, a lot of people saying, ‘We need you,’” Harper said. “One of the guys at Northwest, someone who has watched me all through high school, said he felt like he had a part in shaping me, and now this gives him something to look forward to, a reason to start attending K-State games.”
That’s an obvious benefit, as well as the boost it could provide Snyder and his staff regarding recruiting in-roads in Wichita.
“This might give (K-State) a little more pull here,” Harper said. “I saw Joseph Randle at the camp over the weekend, and I talked to him. He didn’t know I was going back to K-State — he thought it was just a rumor.
“I think there are a few guys I can impact.”