Dec. 24, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming head football coach Joe Glenn announced on Wednesday the signing of two junior-college players to national letters of intent. Joe Harris of Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kan., and Jason Wallace of Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan. Both Harris and Wallace will enroll at UW in January of 2004.
Joe Harris is a 5'10", 215-pound running back, who earned Second Team National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-America honors in the fall of 2003. Harris was also selected First Team All-Kansas Jayhawk Conference.
He rushed for 1,697 yards on 227 carries during the 2003 regular season for an average of 154.3 yards per game to rank No. 5 in the NJCAA and lead the Kansas Jayhawk Conference in rushing as a sophomore.
Harris led his Butler County team to the 2003 National Championship, defeating Dixie College of St. George, Utah, by a score of 14-10 in the national championship game played in St. George. He added 144 rushing yards on 32 carries in the National Championship game. That improved his season total to 1,841 rushing yards on 259 carries for an average of 153.4 yards per game. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry in 2003, and had a long rush of 69 yards.
Butler County ended the 2003 season with a perfect 12-0 record. Butler was a perfect 7-0 in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference, capturing the conference title. In addition to leading the Jayhawk Conference in rushing, he also led the league in all-purpose yards (1,885 for a 157.1 per-game average) and scoring (26 touchdowns and 164 total points for an average of 13.7 points per game). Harris also caught seven passes on the season for 44 yards.
He played for NJCAA National Coach of the Year Troy Morrell at Butler County. His parents are Natali and Dain Griffin.
"I think for us to have the kind of success we want to have, we need to horse up our running game," said UW head coach Joe Glenn. "Our entire offensive line returns next year, and with the addition of Joe (Harris) we got exactly what we were looking for to improve our team. He is a young man who has an outstanding combination of power, speed and size. Joe has been a part of winning, playing for a National Championship team this past year, and was an All-American. On top of all of his accomplishments, I particularly liked the fact that he knows how to get in the endzone -- he scored 26 touchdowns this season. We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present. "
Jason Wallace is a 6'2", 185-pound wide receiver who ranked among the Top 10 receivers in the Jayhawk Conference, while leading Fort Scott Community College in both receptions and receiving yards. Wallace caught 26 passes in nine games for a total of 463 receiving yards. He ranked No. 7 in the Jayhawk Conference in both catches and receiving yards.
Wallace scored four TDs receiving, averaged 51.4 yards per game and 17.8 yards per reception. His long reception was 48 yards. Also an outstanding kickoff returner, Wallace led Fort Scott with 29 kickoff returns for 558 yards, and an average of 19.2 yards per return. His long return was 37 yards. He led Fort Scott in all-purpose yardage and ranked No. 9 in the Jayhawk Conference, totalling 1,031 all-purpose yards for an average of 114.6 per game.
Wallace played for head coach Kevin Verdugo at Fort Scott. He is the son of Gwendolyn and Gary Wallace. Wallace's brother Jesse in a tight end at the University of Colorado. His uncle is Lamont Winston, who is a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs.
"With us losing two senior receivers in Ryan McGuffey and Malcom Floyd, we felt it was paramount we get an experienced receiver who could step in and complement some of the younger receivers we have returning," said Glenn. "Jason (Wallace) had an outstanding season as both a receiver and kickoff returner. He is a good student, and a fine young man. We really think he will fit into our program well.
"We're excited to get both of these young men, and we are glad they will be joining us in January, so they can get to know their new teammates, go through winter conditioning and learn our system in spring ball."
Both Harris and Wallace will be juniors next fall at Wyoming.