Next step, Stephen F. Austin University: Kylon Harris sets the standard at ‘The E’
Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021
RESERVE — Over the past four years, East St. John football coach Brandon Brown has laid the foundation for a new standard at “The E.” Graduating senior Kylon Harris has become the new standard, not only across the three sports he plays, but also in what he does in the classroom and out in the community.
Earlier this month, Harris was cheered on by family coaches and teammates as he signed a letter of intent to play football for Stephen F. Austin University in Texas.
In his final game as an inside receiver for East St. John, Harris almost single-handedly willed his team to a win against St. Thomas More with an astounding nine touchdowns and 685 all-purpose yards. Despite the Wildcats losing the game, the incredible performance led to Harris being honored as the Player of the Week by the Greater New Orleans Quarterback Club in conjunction with Crescent City Sports.
Coach Brown said Harris is leaving East St. John a better place than he found it.
“He’s a guy that does everything the right way. I started here four years ago, and we have built this program on the backs of people like Kylon. Now we’re seeing the fruits of his labor,” Brown said. “He’s worked his butt off, not only on the field but also in the classroom. He’s a three-sport athlete, and he excels at them all. It speaks volumes about him and the standard that he sets. He leaves a great example for the future young men and young women to know you can excel at The E.”
School Board member Shawn Wallace attended the Early Signing Day ceremony not only as a representative of St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools, but also as a proud uncle.
Wallace said his nephew has always been well-mannered, respectful and focused on the task at hand.
“He has been on this mission since he was 4 years old. I’ve watched him following other relatives, going to different recreation games, throwing around a basketball and a football. He’s very talented and a very independent, smart student who is ready to go to the next level. He’s a very humble person, and I just want to commend him for representing the St. John the Baptist Parish school system in a classy and respectful way,” Wallace said.
Stephen F. Austin University doesn’t usually recruit in this area, according to Wallace, but they were fully invested in Harris after capturing some film of him in action.
Harris would have loved to go to college for any sport. Stephen F. Austin presented him with an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up.
“They communicated with me a lot and treated me like family as soon as I got there on my visit,” Harris said. “They do everything as a team, like brothers. I know it’s going to be fun when I get up there and we’re going to have a good time. I know they have a really great faith program, and it’s important to me to have a great education.”
During his Early Signing Day speech, Harris thanked his coaches for making him a better man, his teammates for pushing him at practice, and his family for being the key factor in his success.
Harris’ parents are proud that he has grown up to be a humble and respectful young man who always keeps God first.
His father, Harlon Harris, said, “One word sticks out more than anything, and that’s humility. We get so excited about his accomplishments, and he’s always calm and poised. It’s his demeanor. God elevates people like that.”
He added, “I’m amazed by his tenacity, his drive and his never quit attitude to become better as an individual, as a scholar and as an athlete. His humility is always there, and he has the biggest heart ever. Words can’t explain how proud I am of him at this moment.”
Entering his last semester as a Wildcat, Harris plans to finish strong. He’s currently the leading scorer for the basketball team, averaging 19 points per game. He was a major fixture on the team last season and had a career-defining week in February 2021 in which he scored 78 points across two games against Thibodaux and Central Lafourche.
East St. John Principal David Lewis said Harris’ commitment to academic excellence has opened opportunities in the athletic world.
“All it takes is hard work, dedication and tenacity,” Lewis told students during the Early Signing Day ceremony. “That fire you have in you will get you to the next level.”