28-Year-Old Former MLB Player Monte Harrison Joins Arkansas College Football Team

Monte Harrison's athletic journey takes a surprising turn

by Zain ul Abedin
28-Year-Old Former MLB Player Monte Harrison Joins Arkansas College Football Team
© Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Former Major League Baseball player Monte Harrison, 28 years old, is about to make a very strange career change: to college football. Harrison will lace up his football spikes for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, following a nine-year career in professional baseball that started with him making his Major League Baseball debut at the age of 21 and surviving three big league seasons, reports 247 Sports and ESPN.

What makes his transformation all the more remarkable is that Harrison will be among the oldest players in the whole of college football. This comes after the extended NCAA eligibility guideline that now allows athletes up to six years within which to complete their collegiate sports careers, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Gridiron to MLB

Harrison was a four-star recruit in 2014, according to the recruiting service, his senior season of high school in a class that featured future NFL first-round picks Myles Garrett and Leonard Fournette.

He originally committed to Nebraska to play wide receiver for Bo Pelini. But that all changed when he was drafted in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, and that's when he lost all eligibility to play baseball in college.

Harrison wasn't able to put himself on the map in the Brewers' farm system during his baseball career. He eventually became the top prospect in the organization. He was traded to the Miami Marlins in 2018 for Christian Yelich.

The Marlins still viewed Harrison as one of their top 100 prospects. He made his Major League debut in 2020 before a brief stint in the bigs in 2021 before being released in 2022. Then he landed a short deal with the Los Angeles Angels, returned to the Milwaukee Brewers on a minor-league deal for 2023, before being let go at the end of the season.

As a member of the Major League, Harrison played in 50 games, where he batted .176, hitting two home runs and six RBIs. He has taken part in a total of 770 minor league games, hitting .240 with 90 home runs and 336 RBIs and 210 stolen bases.

Harrison, 28, was also considering other programs with a report from 247 Sports suggesting he had an offer from Nebraska and Tennessee as he gears to join the Arkansas Razorbacks as a receiver. The Razorbacks will open their season on August 29 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff in what will be Harrison's 29th birthday.

The one-of-a-kind journey from professional baseball to college football not only speaks volumes about Harrison's athletic versatility, but also to his determination to forge a path of passion into football despite the challenge of switching sports at a major crossroads in his career.