Harmon Inspired By Star Rushers Of Yesteryear
Pontotoc sophomore running back Gabe Harmon averaged 6.9 yards per carry in 2016, after also averaging over six yards per tote as a freshman in 2015.
However, there was a clear jump in his game from first to second season. At times Harmon simply could not be stopped, as he possess that rare running back trait of getting stronger as the game goes on.
His 12 100-yard rushing performances, for a total of 1,974 yards, and 21 rushing touchdowns helped lead the Warriors to an impressive 13-2 finish.
“It’s great to be a Warrior,” Harmon told SES Mississippi. “We were truly blessed to have the season we did. It’s something special to see our town come together and bring back that Warrior pride.”
“It took a lot of hard work and dedication. We really bought into the process, and we came together for one purpose. We just kept telling ourselves ‘one more game’ week after week.”
Unfortunately their season came to a screeching halt in the 4A North title game, where the fell to eventual 4A champ Lafayette. That didn’t put a damper on just how special the season was for Pontotoc, though. Harmon credits that success to five things primarily.
“Our edge was how we were an all-around team,” He said. “We had a triple threat with our rushing game and passing game averaging over 400 yards per game, and with a defense only allowing 14 points per game. Our coaching staff always has us prepared with a great game plan and the fans never disappoint.”
Harmon is listed at 5’7, but he’s far from a finesse back. In fact, he’s a bruiser that is hard to bring down and gets even more difficult to corral late in the game.
“I’m just naturally competitive. I love to prove people who doubt me wrong,” Harmon explained. “I work and work so I can be the best withy my ability. God has blessed me in so many ways.”
“I am a powerful runner because I have strong legs and I don’t believe in giving up. I am an explosive runner who has a keen eye for the field. I use my low center of gravity with my cutting ability.”
That very work ethic is what Harmon notes as his biggest strength. Additionally, he credits hard work, an experienced offensive line and an experienced quarterback for his success last season. However, he is yet to be satisfied. His focus is to continue getting better this offseason, because his role will increase in 2017.
“I am looking to get faster, stronger and more explosive, so I can break more tackles next year,” He said. “I’ll have to step up in a big way and be a veteran player. I feel lie my number will be called more and I’m definitely up for the challenge.”
Though he’s currently engaged in powerlifting, football is still on his mind. He works out each day during school in addition to speed and footwork drills in the afternoon. Even when he’s not putting in the work, he’s enlightening his mind and immersing it in the game. He likes to check out a mix of throwback runners and new school backs.
“My favorite backs to watch are Barry Sanders, Devonta Freeman, Adrian Peterson and David Johnson. From a young age I became fascinated with Walter Payton. His heart when he ran was amazing. He would never run out of bounds because he wanted to get every possible yard. I try to do the same when I play,” Harmon stated.
“Ever since I was young I’ve always watched the NFL and some of the greatest ever. I started to study the way they play. It’s definitely inspiring to me.”
Two things that Harmon is thankful for are his coaches and the seniors of the 2017 senior class.
“There aren’t enough words to describe that senior class,” He said. “They helped us to become not only better players, but also better people.”
“To me, from day one, the support and encouragement from our coaches helps greatly. All of our coaches are very different but yet they work together so well. Coach Carter has very high standards, and he demands my best every play. Knowing that he has faith in me pushes me. He is a great leader.”