Oklahoma high school football has been blessed with amazing players and teams during its long and storied history. Future Heisman Trophy winners, NFL All-Pros and Super Bowl champions have all been a part of some magical Friday nights.
Until recently, one accomplishment had never taken place in the Sooner State’s storied prep football history. No quarterback had ever been a four-year starter on four state championship teams.
Ben Harris accomplished that impressive feat recently after leading the Carl Albert Titans to their fifth straight state championship, a 33-21 win over Bishop McGuinness in the 5A title game.
The victory capped off an amazing prep career for Harris, who was thrust into the starting role four years ago as a freshman and led the Titans to four consecutive gold balls.
“My freshman year, our starter got hurt,” recalled Harris. “He broke his collarbone. I was like, ‘oh crap, I’m the next guy up.’ The coaches never lost confidence in me. They had my back.”
“I’m definitely blessed,” added Harris. “I couldn’t have done it without the people around me and the support I have from fans, family, coaches and players. They trust me and I trust them and we ended up with four rings.”
It was another precision performance for Harris in this year’s title game. The 6-2, 210-pounder was 17-of-21 passing for 195 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 80 yards and another score.
“It’s a great rivalry,” admitted Harris on the Titans’ recent showdowns with Bishop McGuinness. “They’re a great team. It’s always a great game when we play them. Their coaches came up to me after the championship game and said it was great watching you play, but we’re happy you’re gone.”
“All this time that’s gone by really shows all the hard work that we put in,” said Harris. “The coaches put us in the right position. It feels good to have four pictures up there in our fieldhouse.”
Despite the accolades and accomplishments, Harris has been lightly recruited by college football programs. He hadn’t received a single scholarship offer prior to this year’s championship game. Shortly after the title game, he earned offers from a pair of junior colleges, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Butler County Community College.
“I was told I didn’t have the arm to play D-I, so I really worked on that,” Harris said about feedback he received early in his high school career. “That’s all I did this past offseason was work on arm strength and footwork.”
“Big schools look for a guy that can just sling it around,” claimed Harris. “I didn’t really do much of that in my early years, but I think this year I did a much better job of getting rid of the ball quickly and hard, with accuracy. I ran it a little bit more this year than I ever had, too.”
Whichever school is fortunate to land Harris will be getting a proven winner with a lot of potential.
“I’ve definitely grown as a person,” added Harris. “I was pretty young back in 2017. I feel more confident in myself. Back then I didn’t know how it was going to go and now looking back, I’m just really blessed.”