Sac State defensive leader hopes to hear his name in NFL Draft

Mister Harriel could be the first Hornet drafted since 2003

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Sac State defensive leader hopes to hear his name in NFL Draft

Sac State senior safety Mister Harriel poses for a photo April 18 at Hornet Stadium. Harriel is hopeful to be selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Sac State senior safety Mister Harriel poses for a photo April 18 at Hornet Stadium. Harriel is hopeful to be selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Deondre Pasquini - The State Hornet

Sac State senior safety Mister Harriel poses for a photo April 18 at Hornet Stadium. Harriel is hopeful to be selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Deondre Pasquini - The State Hornet

Deondre Pasquini - The State Hornet

Sac State senior safety Mister Harriel poses for a photo April 18 at Hornet Stadium. Harriel is hopeful to be selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Shaun Holkko

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Sacramento State football player Mister “Showtime” Harriel has been in the spotlight as a talented athlete his entire life and now hopes to be drafted to the NFL.

Harriel has gone viral on ESPN and Bleacher Report multiple times 一 but not for his abilities on the field.

The senior safety has garnered internet attention during his time at Sac State for his unique and creative trick shots. Most recently, Harriel went viral in April 2018 for his version of the “long-snap challenge.”

Story continues below tweet.

 

Combining both his skills in football and basketball, Harriel snapped a basketball between his legs from three-quarters of the court to earn a spot on Sportscenter’s “Top 10” segment, displaying his creative ability and how well-rounded he is as an athlete.

RELATED: Junior football player goes viral again with trick shot video

The senior safety is now focused on achieving his childhood dream of playing in the NFL.

Harriel was born and raised in Sacramento, California, the fourth of eight children from parents Mister and Melissa. He grew up with five sisters and two brothers in a sports-active household as all of the Harriels played multiple sports.

“My dad played (basketball) overseas in France (and) my mom played basketball and volleyball when she was (young),” Harriel said. “Growing up, I’ve always been competing against my brothers and sisters, so I’ve always wanted to be the best.”

When asked who he looked up to in the sports world as a child, Harriel said LeBron James and Deion Sanders, because they are dual-sport athletes, as he considers himself.

Harriel went on the play high school football at Antelope High School where he met his best friend, redshirt-junior defensive back Caelen Barnes.

“Mister is basically my best friend,” Barnes said. “The first time I met him was my freshman year of high school. Ever since then when you see him, you see me. We just basically clicked ever since then.”

Barnes and Harriel played together in high school all four years and went on to play alongside each other once again at Sac State. The pair have been roommates since December 2017.

Harriel played both offense and defense in high school, splitting time between three positions on each side of the ball, showcasing his versatility when arriving at Sac State.

“They originally recruited me as an athlete, so when I first got (to Sac State) I played a little bit of running back mostly,” Harriel said. “Then they switched me to a receiver (which) was about a two-month process for me playing receiver and then transitioning to playing safety. As soon as I got to safety, I just had to hone in on the playbook and bounce back.”

Harriel spent many lates nights as an underclassman learning both sides of the playbook.

“It was a grind, I had to push through it and battle through adversity, learning one playbook, then going over and learning the receiver’s side of the playbook,” Harriel said. “Then waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning to learn the defensive playbook. It took a lot of heart (and) courage, I persevered through it all. At the end of the day, I could say it was worth it.”

Harriel officially made the switch to safety as a true-sophomore in 2016.

The following season, Harriel earned first-team all-Big Sky honors after leading the Hornets in total tackles with 87 to go with three sacks and three interceptions.

His junior season was such a success that Harriel earned preseason All-American and all-Big Sky honors before beginning his senior campaign.

As a senior, Harriel was limited by injuries causing him to only start seven of 10 games at safety with 56 total tackles.

“On the field, his ball skills (are his best attribute),” Barnes said. “The way he attacks the ball when the ball is thrown to him. I try to model my game on that as well. Off the field, his personality (is his best attribute). He’s funny, loyal and basically what you want in the locker room.”

Harriel spent two and a half months training at EXOS in San Diego for his Pro Day and the NFL Draft.

According to Harriel, multiple NFL scouts came to his Pro Day, including scouts from the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings. Harriel said he was given an unofficial time of 4.42 in the 40-yard dash.

While training in Sacramento at Game-Fit to get ready for the NFL, Harriel met someone currently living his dream.

Terrance Mitchell, a cornerback going into his second season with the Browns, is a Sacramento native and attended Luther Burbank High School. Mitchell was drafted in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Oregon University and is currently on his fifth NFL team.

It was at Game-Fit where Harriel and Mitchell met and formed a bond.

“I believe whether he’s drafted or not he’s gonna show that he can play in the NFL and he will be good either way,” Mitchell said. “I believe he got a bright future and he is going to make some noise for himself and show his ability when given the opportunity.”

Mitchell went on to say that Harriel’s best attributes are his competitiveness and being a good communicator.

“I really don’t think much, I just go out and play,” Harriel said. “I feel like if you think a lot, then that’s when you go out and make mistakes. If I want to be great and play at the next level, then just being able to make that play, I feel like that’s a million dollars right there in my pocket.”

Harriel is hoping to become the 13th Sac State player in school history to be drafted to the NFL and the first since Marko Cavka in 2003.

Sac State currently has three alumni in the NFL that all went undrafted.

Todd Davis, a linebacker from the class of 2014, has been with the Denver Broncos since 2014 and is a Super Bowl champion.

DeAndre Carter, a wide receiver from the class of 2015, spent his first four seasons in the NFL on four different practice squads before earning a roster spot with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.

RELATED: Former Sac State receiver chases NFL dreams

Carter was waived in November by the Eagles but was immediately picked up by the Houston Texans and served primarily as a special teams returner for the remainder of the season. Carter is currently under contract for the 2019 season with the Texans.

Darnell Sankey, a linebacker from the class of 2016, has been on eight practice squads in his career. He has been on an active roster once, for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. Sankey is currently a member of the New Orleans Saints practice squad.

RELATED: Sankey battles ‘at any time, you can be cut’ nature of NFL

Harriel said he has no preference on where he may end up but just wants an opportunity.

“A team should take a chance on me because they’re gonna get everything,” Harriel said. “They’re gonna get a versatile guy who can play multiple positions. They’re gonna get a tough guy who plays with a lot of passion, a lot of heart and I’m gonna work hard every day. I’m not a distraction off the field and I’m gonna come to work.”

Harriel must now wait through seven rounds and 254 picks of the draft to see if his name will be called.

Although, as he learned from the three former Hornets currently in the NFL, you do not need to be drafted to have success in the NFL.

Mister “Showtime” Harriel is ready to show the world his talent when the time comes.

Deondre Pasquini – The State Hornet
Sac State senior safety Mister Harriel displays his “Showtime” tattoo April 18 at Hornet Stadium. Harriel is hopeful to be selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

 

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