Football

Syracuse’s No. 1 receiver Taj Harris enters transfer portal

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Taj Harris ranked fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in receptions during the 2020 season and earned third-team All-ACC honors.

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Syracuse’s No. 1 receiver Taj Harris has entered the transfer portal, he announced via Twitter on Sunday afternoon. Harris did not travel or play during SU’s game in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, a team spokesperson confirmed yesterday. 

Harris ranked fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in receptions during the 2020 season and earned third-team All-ACC honors. Through 10 games last year, he notched 58 receptions for 733 yards and five touchdowns, the third consecutive season he eclipsed 500 receiving yards. 

“Syracuse thank you for all the love and support … @CoachBabersCuse thank you for being the remodel I needed in my life as well as the coaching staff,” Harris’ tweet read. “With that being said I am entering the transfer portal … love y’all.”

This season, Harris recorded 16 catches for 171 yards through three games, including an eight-catch, 122-yard game against Rutgers. Harris missed time when the Orange played UAlbany in the Carrier Dome due to an apparent left leg injury, but he returned the following week for a quiet, two-catch, 20-yard performance against Liberty.

On Thursday before the Florida State game, Harris tweeted “I know my worth.” Harris is the second Syracuse player to enter the transfer portal in the middle of this season, following running back Jarveon Howard who announced he put his name into the portal on Monday. 

Howard was a backup running back, behind Sean Tucker, Cooper Lutz and Abdul Adams. 

Harris infamously flipped off a television camera during Syracuse’s loss to Liberty last season and was suspended for SU’s game against Clemson the following week. 

Head coach Dino Babers simply said he couldn’t offer any comment in regard to why Harris didn’t travel. Harris didn’t specify why he wanted to enter the transfer portal five games into SU’s season on Twitter.

The wide receiver has two years of eligibility remaining because of the NCAA rule which raised the number of games played to lose eligibility to four. Harris played in three games this season, so, he will be able to transfer and still have two years of eligibility, according to WSYR-TV News Channel 9’s Mario Sacco.

He was SU’s third-best receiver during his true freshman season in 2018 and the No. 2 receiver behind Trishton Jackson in 2019. He took over the No. 1 role in 2020 after Jackson was selected in the NFL draft, and he has filled that role ever since. 

Without Harris on Saturday against the Seminoles, Shrader tossed for 150 yards and a touchdown. SU’s receiving core that features Courtney Jackson, Anthony Queeley and Damien Alford, among others, stepped up despite the loss. 

“We had more than enough in that locker room we were in,” Babers said when asked about Harris’ absence. “We were disappointed that we came up three points short, (but) we had more than enough in that locker room to win this game. More than enough.”

This story will be updated with more reporting. 

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