1-on-1: My Conversation With UTSA Star Quarterback Frank Harris
Updated: Aug 25
By Hermes Jimenez
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I am a big football fan and I'm also pretty hyped that San Antonio football has been put on the map lately by our UTSA Roadrunner football team. That team is being led by Frank Harris as their QB. I've talked with Frank briefly before but I wanted to sit down and just have a chat with him about this upcoming season, show a little bit of who he is to his fans and hopefully the future. He was nice enough to take some time from his busy schedule to have a quick
1-on-1 with me and here is what we talked about. Some silly stuff, some sports stuff and some sorta deep thinking stuff. Hope y'all enjoy.
One of the main things about Frank that stands out the most is his respectful demeanor. Its very noticeable and admirable. I told him he reminded of a young Lebron James in how LBJ was always respectful and was always level headed. Lebron was able to take in fame at such a young age and he handled it better than most people would at 18. Frank has that demeanor. "Its funny you say that because Lebron James is my all time favorite player and role model. The way he carries himself and how he is a family man and gives back to the community. All those things, if I was ever in that position, is something I would definitely want to do. It's just what your purpose is in life. I know my purpose is not just to play football. That's what my purpose is, to give back because I know I'm fortunate to be in the position I'm in so that's the least that I can do" Frank said.
Frank comes from a family of law enforcement, and while his upbringing wasn't all strict rules, you can see his parents influence as he usually answers "yes/no sir/mam". "We would get in trouble if we didn't answer like that" Frank said with a laugh.
(I will be "HJ" Frank Harris will be "FH" in my Q & A Below)
HJ: Does that come from your upbringing? Or am I reading it wrong?
FH: Its definitely my upbringing and how my parents raised us. If I see somebody with their hand out, a fan or a kid, I have to go and slap their hand. I would feel something inside of me if I didn't go and take a picture with a little kid. I was once that little kid and it meant the world to me for whoever I was hoping to come slap my hand to do it. So for me to be in the position I'm in now its only right for me to do that and hopefully if those kids are ever in my position they will do the same.
After the NCAA Ruling where athletes can get paid off their brand, Frank took advantage of this ruling as he now has some merchandise for San Antonio and his fans. He has some shirts, caps and hoodies that are currently selling on https://fanarch.com/collections/frank-harris. "Without that ruling we wouldn't be able to do all these things and get something back in return" Said Frank.
HJ: In your earlier years with all the injuries you've had, we saw Andrew Luck retire due to the rehab and repeated injuries, how did you keep yourself mentality positive?
FH: Not gonna lie, I thought about hanging it up. It was tough man. You just think you can't get through that slump and you think God wants you to do something else in life. You try to figure out what it is, what your purpose is and you just have a lot of thoughts that go though your mind. You're by yourself trying to figure out all these things again like with my ACL you gotta learn how to walk properly, bend your knee again, straighten your leg and regain all of your muscle again. It just gets frustrating and long overdue, you just start to 2nd guess yourself. But God got me through everything. I really got close to God at that point and also my family. Whenever I see one of my teammates go down I always talk to them about it because I know first hand how that is, so having support for your teammates and family means a lot to me.
HJ: When you went through the coaching change, how was that for you in terms of letting go of one coach and now getting a new one? And were you close to Coach Wilson?
FH: Yeah me and Coach Wilson were close. He recruited me out of high school and when Dr. Campos (Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics) decided to do that, I have no say so in these things but I wanted to see who was being brought in and when we brought Coach Traylor I had only heard good things about him so I decided to see what kind of person he was and everything he talks about he does. He is a great coach and a great guy and I think it was the best choice for the University to get him and I'm glad to have him for next year and he's great for this position and we are blessed to have him here with us.
HJ: How did you guys feel last year putting San Antonio on the map in college sports? We were now coming out at the start on ESPN and that's something that never happened aside from the Spurs past winning seasons. How did that feel?
FH: It felt amazing. I wanted to stay close to family and friends and that's why I picked to stay in San Antonio and that was one of the goals when I chose to stay here so actually fulfilling those dreams all these things just meant a lot. Having the support from the city and all the excitement and noise was pretty cool and to see the whole city come together as one it just meant a lot. I love San Antonio!
HJ: I know the focus is going to be on this season coming up but how much is moving on to the NFL do you think about?
FH: You know, you got to take it day by day. Like you mentioned earlier, I have been injured before so you can't think too far into the future because it can be taken away so quickly. I just gotta go out there and prepare like its my last game because I never know. So we'll see if that time comes it would be a very special moment for me if that opportunity presents itself and it will mean a lot to me [if it does].
HJ: A while back I asked who you were going for Mahomes or Brady and you really didn't care much for either one. Do you just not watch a lot of NFL football?
FH: I watch RedZone [laughs]. I do follow some players, for example I like Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson. I don't really get caught in teams so much. I got some teammates that will come into the meeting room all mad the next day when their teams lose, and its just not that serious to me. I've never been like that because I have no control over what that team does. So there's no point in me getting all upset.
HJ: So you don't play ANY fantasy football?
FH: I don't [laughs]
HJ: I have friends that will not enjoy the actual football game because one of their players on the team didn't have a good game so they're not enjoying football anymore.
FH: Exactly! It's all about stats now. It takes the fun out of it.
HJ: So you know that I am a foodie, and I heard you weren't a huge Whataburger fan, so what are your top 3 restaurants in San Antonio?
FH: Fast Food?
HJ: You can include 1 fast food but give me 2 other restaurants aside from 1 fast food joint.
FH: I'm gonna tell you right now, I LOVE Chick Fil A. I could eat Chick-Fil-A every day! I haven't gone because I told myself I have to stop but I love Chick-Fil-A, They know me up there.
HJ: They have great service plus an amazing Diet lemonade. Low carbs, vitamin C... Its almost healthy!
FH: Yes, it is. I love that place. Another place I will say me and my girlfriend visit once a month is J. Alexander's. I love the steak at J. Alexanders. I'm going this month, I need that steak!
HJ: They also have an amazing burger. Try it with bacon. it's very good.
FH: OK ill do that too. My last one, I love burgers so I have to go with Marks Outing. I don't know what it is about that place, maybe the bread but its so good. I finished a 2 pound burger there.
HJ: (raises eyebrows)
HJ: The number zero, is that your favorite number? Or how did that happen?
FH: My favorite number is 7. Its always been my favorite number, the number zero happened because I got voted into the 2-1-0 which are the numbers for San Antonio. I was nominated by my teammates. The 2-1-0 are supposed to be the toughest people on the team and you get voted into that. Those numbers represent the culture so I was very fortunate to be voted into changing my number to 2 or 1 or 0. I was a little hesitant at first but coach convinced me, he said it would mean a lot so I wanted to be a number no one else had before so I chose zero. Problem was Rashad (Teammate Rashad Wisdom) was also 0. So we talked about it and coach called us and told us we could both be zero if we wanted to. So that's what we did but number 7 has always been close to my heart. Its my favorite number.
HJ: And now there's a pretty cool nickname after the zero. (Sub Zero)
FH: Yes, at first I was thinking of a refrigerator, and you may laugh at this, but that's what I was thinking about. Then someone told me about this character.
HJ: Mortal Kombat (I'm a fighting game, gamer)
FH: Yes. I had no idea what that was or who that was at the time. Then everyone started sending me pictures of Sub Zero so I actually had no idea who that was but I just stuck with it and ran with it.
HJ: Sub Zero is a badass
FH: Yes he is!
HJ: Do you still get nervous? When you go out there in the field on gameday?
FH: I don't get nervous, I get anxious. But nervous no. At the end of the day its just football. You got real life stuff going on in this world. People are battling through cancer, some are on their last breath and I'm so blessed to get to play the game of football. I'm in a position where a lot of people would give anything to be in this position so you do got to take it serious. I take football serious and I love it but its just football. I get anxious to go out and play on gameday but not nervous. you already put in all the preparation to go out on gameday so I'm just prepared when the day comes.
HJ: I'll just do some fun questions here, to not bore people. What's your favorite food?
FH: I love burgers but I've been getting into steaks a lot now. I'm telling you, there is something about the J. Alexanders steak. They dip it in pineapple or something, its called the Maui Steak. I'm telling you it's so good there.
HJ: Ever get their carrot cake?
FH: So look, my birthday came and my girlfriend told them it was my birthday and we get a carrot cake. I never really liked carrot cake but that cake was good. That was a great carrot cake!
HJ: Favorite Color?
FH: Red. It's always been a part of my life. Highschool color was red so I've seen it all my life. It's red.
HJ: That's awesome. That's my favorite color too.
HJ: If you weren't playing football, what would you want as a career?
FH: I'd be playing basketball. When I was in high school I got my 1st offer to play basketball so basketball was my first sport. The question was always which sport would I stay with and I made that choice my junior year and I chose football. Houston Baptist actually offered me to play both and then when I came to UTSA I was going to also try and play basketball because one of the coaches that had just joined the staff had recruited me at another school and he was now at UTSA so we had that connection. So if it wasn't football it would be basketball. I love basketball.
HJ: How are your dunks? Can you dunk?
FH: Pshhh. I'm gonna send you some videos. I could do between the legs dunks, 360s, I used to be able to do everything. I was a high flyer.
(I saw the videos and yeah, Frank can ball!)
HJ: What's your favorite movie? Or maybe favorite 2 if picking one is too difficult.
FH: man, that's a tough one. All the Friday films are always fun. I grew up watching those. Life, the movie with Lawrence and Eddie Murphy. It's just very funny to me.
HJ: I saw you have a dog. You big on dogs or animal person?
FH: I do, and I do like dogs. I don't like dogs jumping on me and all that but I do like dogs. He's not chill but he listens. he's well trained.
HJ: Last one. If you can give advice to a person that is looking up to you right now whether it be a high schooler or someone younger. What would you tell them?
FH: I would say keep believing in yourself. When I was in high school I didn't have any college offers. I was always told I would never play Quarterback in college. Schools were offering me different positions but I kept believing in myself. Looking back now, I don't know how it would all have been if I would had changed my position, me being in the position I am in now. Just shows that if you believe in yourself, not listen to what anyone says [negative] about you, being a good person, doing the right thing, being a believer, that will take you a long way. It would have been easy for me to say at that time that I am not gonna end up playing Quarterback, since I had heard it from so many coaches and all the big schools wanted me to play a different position. I feel that would have been the easy route but for me I knew what I wanted to do, so whatever you want to do you gotta go try and achieve that and put in the work to achieve it. For me playing quarterback I ended up playing at a "smaller" school. UTSA was the outcome for me to not change my playing position but that was the sacrifice that I wanted to do because I wanted to play Quarterback and that ended up being a blessing. So go with your heart, put in the work and never give up.
In the end I just told Frank to keep that mindset he has. Very level headed and seeing the game with a realistic lens. Its rare to see that point of view from a 23 year old that is on the cusp of being in that small percentage of playing football for a living. What did frank say when I told him this?
"This is what I tell my teammates too. I understand football is all we know but football is going to end one day and I know my life's purpose is not to just play football. God didn't just put me on this earth to [only] play football. If I make the NFL or I don't I am still going to have a life to live after football so what am I going to do with my life after? I cant just be 'football is all I know so what am I going to do now?' So graduate, get a degree, be respectful, learn how to talk to people and carry yourself right. Football is a part of life and it can take you a long way in life if you use the right way so that's what I am going to try and do.
Whether this upcoming season is as successful as least years, and I think it will for UTSA and Frank, we have a great quarterback but an all around great person. A QB that want's to give back to the community, loves his city and has a good head on his shoulders. Right now Frank Harris has most of UTSA's records. Last year he had 3,177 passing yards, 33 total TD's, 3,743 total yards, and a .661 completion percentage and is only getting better! So what is Chick-Fil-A waiting for to endorse this man?! haha. Are you all going to the game Sept 3rd? See y'all there!