CHESTNUT HILL - Montel Harris now stands alone, and in all reality, just might be the greatest running back that has every passed through Boston College. Harris cemented his status as an all-time great when he broke the school's record for career rushing yards on Saturday in front of 38,265 fans at Alumni Stadium.
Harris ran for 108 yards on 22 carries, and in the process surpassed running back Derrick Knight ('00-'03) and his 3,725 career rushing yards, and he's only played in two games this season. Yet for Harris, who saw his Eagles fall to 1-4 and 0-2 in conference play following a 27-19 loss to Wake Forest, his new record took a back seat.
"In the moment, breaking the record falls second on my list," said Harris, who now has 3,735 career rushing yards and 27 touchdowns in his Eagles tenure. "We work hard every week to get a win and we came up short this time. I'm sure I'll look back at the end of the season and view this as a huge accomplishment. Right now, I'm trying tohelp our team get the season going in the right direction with some wins."
Harris, who gave coaches and fans a scare as he was slow to get up on the ground following the record-breaking run in the fourth quarter, met the man whose record he erased recently, but admitted he didn't know who he was when they first exchanged conversation in the training room.
"I met him for the first rime in the training room the other day," Harris said. "He asked me if I was ready to break the record. I told him, 'Yes, I'm ready,' After we talked for a little bit, he said, 'Hi, I'm Derrick Knight. Nice to meet you.' That was my first experience meeting him."
While Harris was humble about breaking the rushing record, his coaches and teammates realize the significance of it and couldn't be happier for him.
"I love Montel and he is deserving of every individual accolade that he gets," said Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani. "We're certainly very happy for him. I know he has worked hard to get it and hopefully he can get some more."
"It's a great accomplishment for Montel," said BC junior linebacker Luke Kuechly. "Anytime you get put in a situation like that, where you come back from an injury, it's a big deal for him. We all appreciate what he has done for this team."
While this was only Harris' second game back following a knee injury that kept him out of fight straight games prior to last Saturday's win over the UMass Minutemen, he looked and played much better than he did a week ago when he ran for 27 net yards on nine carries in limited action.
"I feel better than last week, but I still could be in better shape," said Harris. "That takes time, so I'll just take it week by week."