LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The words don’t be lazy are hardly ever attached to Frederick Douglass senior defensive tackle, Jamarrion Harkless’ name.

When you break through the line as he does, his coach doesn’t have many bad things to say.

“He’s been what we thought he would be as advertised and he’s got a bright future,” Frederick Douglass head football coach Nathan McPeek said.

From the bluegrass to the plains, Jamarrion made his commitment to Auburn University official on Sunday, Sept. 8 after receiving 22 Division I offers that include Louisiana State University, University of Kentucky, Ohio State, University of Georgia, and Ole Miss. Growing up in a Southeastern Conference town, this is everything he could’ve ever dreamed of.

“It means the world,” Harkless said. “I’m not trying to put my dad’s business out there, but when I got that offer, he cried a little because he knew what that offer meant to me.”


His future is certainly bright, however, his story was written long before the offers rolled in.

“When I was like 8 years old, I knew I wanted to play this sport,” the 6-foot 4-inches tall, 290-pound defensive lineman said. “I played for the Douglass bearcats and when we won our first championship, I saw how hard work paid off for me. It made me love the game even more.”

When Harkless went to middle school, he was already six-foot, 300-pounds. He spent countless hours with his father and older brother to improve his talent. Now, he’s one of the top defensive linemen in the country.

“He’s pretty much a football grinder,” Nate McPeek said. “He goes to school and works at his game. He was trained up by his good friends that’s at Thomas Moore that was the same way. Hark likes to work at football all year long.”

Harkless is still no stranger to hard work. He trains outside of the regular day-to-day football practice with a personal trainer two to three times a week and comes in on Sundays for fieldwork. That’s what’s led him to be a War Eagle next Fall.

“My trainer and I go at it,” Harkless said. “We work on hip explosions, speed drills, and a lot of other stuff. We really try to go in because we’re trying to go big with this football stuff.”

Jamarrion will be ready to tackle his childhood dream head-on for a starting job at Auburn next year, but for now, he’s focused on the task at hand, a win over Scott County.

“This is the week where I work the hardest,” Harkless said. This game made my dad cry, this game made my brother cry and it made me cry when they beat us, so this game means a lot for me.”