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Author Topic: CFL All-Star Harris Working to Recruit, Retain Talent in His Hometown  (Read 404 times)
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Reaves,Cameron,Riley,Walby - Blue Bomber Legends

« on: December 05, 2018, 10:45:28 PM »

CFL All-Star Harris Working to Recruit, Retain Talent in His Hometown - Ed Tait

He is the two-time Canadian Football League rushing champ, now freshly-minted as a five-time all-star, and arguably THE face of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

And surely none of that ever gets old for Andrew Harris.

But of all the topics the running back touched on during a media availability following the release of the 2018 CFL All-Star Team on Tuesday - he's one of five Bombers along with linebacker Adam Bighill, centre Matthias Goossen, left tackle Stanley Bryant and safety Taylor Loffler - one of the most intriguing is the role he could play in helping keep the team's core intact.

"Me and (Bombers President and CEO) Wade (Miller) are working out a side commission,?"said Harris with a grin. "I had lunch with Bighill just today. Honestly, the guys that want to come back, that want to be here, are going to do what they can to get back. And the guys that want to move on and try to get more money are going to do that. They've got to do what's best for their families and best for their situation.

"But it's going to be very hard on the players, on management on the coaches this year... especially for us because we have so many guys that are free (agents)."

Yes, as the CFL is in the early days of what could be an offseason of historic change, a player like Harris could be vital to the Bombers before the ball is even put on the tee next June.

The Bombers head into the winter with 31 pending free agents, including 12 starters and kicker Justin Medlock, with all that uncertainty pushed up against the backdrop of an expiring collective bargaining agreement.

Harris has been an influential voice in the past - he did speak to Bighill before the all-star linebacker decided to sign here last May - and has also sold the virtues of both the Bombers organization and his hometown itself. And while that pro-Bombers/pro-Winnipeg sales pitch might not be necessary in convincing a current teammate to return, it could be critical in luring some of the other talent the club may target this winter.

Interestingly, of the Bombers five all-stars, Harris is signed through 2020, Bryant has an agreement in principle to return, while Bighill, Goossen and Loffler are all pending free agents. The other starters possibly heading to the open market are defensive backs Brandon Alexander and Kevin Fogg, receivers Nic Demski and Weston Dressler, guard Sukh Chungh, defensive linemen Jackson Jeffcoat, Drake Nevis and Tristan Okpalaugo and linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox.

"I am talking to guys," said Harris. "You guys all know I preach about how much I care about the guys in the room and the guys we had this year. As much as I can do to keep the locker room the same and keep the continuity and keep that same energy that we had, I definitely want to be a part of that and make sure guys do come back. Even talking to a guy like Bighill, guys are interested in being in this environment and playing here. It's going to be an interesting offseason, that's for sure......."

Read the rest of Ed Tait's article here!

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
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