Aaron Doster / USA TODAY Sports
J-Shun Harris’ comeback continues to be a feel-good story.
The redshirt junior receiver extended his impact on special teams with a punt return for a touchdown in IU’s 52-17 win over Georgia Southern, his second in as many games.
“Every play is a great opportunity to take it back,” Harris said. “Again, I have to thank everyone that’s on our score team because without those key blocks, I wouldn’t be able to do the easy job which is run and try to go score. Thankful for all of those guys, for sure.”
Early in the first half, Harris watched as Georgia punter Tyler Bass’ kick took a quick bounce before fielding it.
Just a few seconds later, he was gone, weaving his way down the visitors’ sideline and through Eagles defenders for a 70-yard score.
“I saw it had a little velocity on it,” Harris said. “So as it continued to roll, that perfect bounce came. Thankfully I got my hands on it right before the guy tried to tackle me. It just happened to work out for the best, and I’m just happy it all worked out.”
The touchdown return tied Harris with former IU standouts Mitchell Paige and Larry Highbaugh for most in a single season in program history. It also set a new season-long, with his first return score going for 44 yards in IU’s 34-17 win at Virgnia in Week 2.
Harris is also the second IU player to have back-to-back games with a punt return for a touchdown, matching Rob Turner in 1990.
Following Saturday’s win, Harris’ performance brought his total to nine returns for 257 yards, good for 28.6 yards per return, in addition to the pair of touchdowns.
An impressive start for a player who has had to overcome significant adversity over the last two years.
“How about J-Shun, that kid’s unreal,” IU head coach Tom Allen said. “They’re probably going to quit punting to him. He’s making them pay. What great story. Golly, so proud of him. Awesome, awesome young man.”
Is Harris worried teams will stop punting to him?
“I’m not sure,” he said. “Hopefully they continue to, but if not, just go up there, be safe, be smart with the ball, make the right decision and hope we continue to put the team and the offense in the right field position.”
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