I’ve spent my fair share of time on the WSU campus and around people who live and breathe Cougar football, yet the name Jerome Harrison is rarely mentioned. Harrison is arguably the greatest Washington State running back of all time and he deserves to be appreciated as more of a Pullman legend.
The star running back from Kalamazoo, Michigan only spent two years as a Cougar after transferring from Pasadena City College, but took advantage of every second in Crimson and Grey.
His career was short and sweet at Washington State. He played two years in Pullman and left his mark on the record books like nobody ever has in such short time.
When it comes to career rushing yards, he ranks fifth all time on the WSU statistical leaderboards and the four players ranking above Harrison all played four years for the Cougars. For rushing touchdowns, he ranks second.
His name gets lost amongst the WSU legends due to the fact that his senior season the Cougars struggled as a team. They went just 4-7, but they did win the Apple Cup in Seattle, only adding to his legacy. That game was the cherry on top of what was an incredible individual season for Harrison as he had 247 yards from scrimmage and added a touchdown as well.
Another stellar performance for Harrison came against USC. This Trojan team was infamous for the Reggie Bush incident, but that doesn’t take away from how talented they were. This USC team made it all the way to the NCAA Championship with their only loss coming at the hands of Vince Young. Although WSU lost to USC 55-13, Harrison was electric. He ran for 147 yards on 21 carries and added a touchdown against USC too.
USC wasn’t the only powerhouse in the Pac-10 that year. Oregon finished their season ranked twelfth in the nation and peaked at eighth during week 14. Well, just like USC, Harrison had no issue dealing with another stellar defense. He finished the game with 181 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
His senior campaign still dominates the WSU record books for a single season performance. His 1,900 rushing yards ranks first all-time by a mile and his 16 touchdowns tops the record books as well. Jerome Harrison’s 2005 season had him in the Heisman conversation even with the team lacking an exceptionable record.
Those 1,900 yards finished second in the entire nation and first in the nation for regular season play.
His excellent senior season landed him a spot in the NFL as he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 draft by the Cleveland Browns. His NFL career didn’t go as planned but that doesn’t take anything away from what he accomplished in Pullman.
Jerome Harrison deserves more credibility behind his name in terms of the Pullman’s all time greats. Harrison was explosive, powerful, and nearly unstoppable.