Jerome Harrison

Not to be confused with Jerome Harris.
Jerome Harrison
No. 35, 33, 36
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1983-02-26) February 26, 1983
Place of birth: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Kalamazoo (MI)
College: Washington State
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 5 / Pick: 145
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 1,681
Rushing average: 4.7
Rushing TDs: 7
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Jerome Harrison (born February 26, 1983) is a former American football running back who played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Washington State University, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, and also played for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. His football career ended as a result of a brain tumor.

Early years

Harrison was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He attended Kalamazoo Central High School, and played for the Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants high school football team. He served as his team captain as a junior and senior, and rushed for 2,338 yards and thirty-one touchdowns as a senior, earning all-state honors from the Detroit Free-Press.

His father, Jerome Persell, was a tailback and three-time Mid-American Conference offensive player of the year (1976–1978) at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He finished second in the nation in rushing behind Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett in 1976. In 1978, he became the third runner in Division I-A history to reach 4,000 yards in three seasons and tied a then-NCAA record with three consecutive 200-yard performances. After receiving a sole NFL tryout, Persell was told that he was too short and too light, a remark that Harrison would encounter as well.[1]

College career

After two years at Pasadena City College, Harrison transferred to Washington State University, where he played for the Washington State Cougars football from 2004 to 2005. Although he played most of his junior year behind starter Chris Bruhn, he finished the last five games of the year with over 900 yards. His senior year saw greater playing time and great success. He broke the record for most consecutive games with 100 or more yards by a Pacific-10 Conference runner, with 16, and set the Cougars' single-season rushing record with 1,900 yards, which also led the NCAA Division I. He was a consensus All-American in 2005. He majored in humanities and communications.

Professional career


Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 9⅛ in 201 lb 4.47 s 1.55 s 2.62 s 4.08 s 6.79 s 34½ in 10 ft 4 in 19 reps
All values from NFL Combine[2]

Cleveland Browns

Harrison was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round (145th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.

In his first season he made ten appearances including one start. He made his NFL debut against the New Orleans Saints on September 10, 2006. During his second season with the Browns, Harrison appeared in eight games.

On December 20, 2009, at Kansas City, Harrison broke Jim Brown's single-game rushing record for a Cleveland Brown running back with 286 yards and three touchdowns, placing him third on the all-time single-game rushing yards list behind Adrian Peterson, who had rushed for 296 yards and three touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers in 2007, and Jamal Lewis, who had rushed for 295 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns in 2003. He maintained that form through the end of the regular season, rushing for 561 yards and five touchdowns in the last three games. Harrison signed a 1-year, $2 million contract at the end of 2009 and became the starting running back for the Browns at the start of the 2010 season.

Philadelphia Eagles

On October 13, 2010, Harrison was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for running back Mike Bell.

Detroit Lions

On August 9, 2011, Harrison signed with the Detroit Lions. Harrison was traded back to the Eagles in exchange for running back Ronnie Brown and a seventh-round draft pick in 2013,[3] but the trade was voided the next day after Harrison failed his physical with the Eagles. On October 20, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Harrison failed the physical because doctors discovered a brain tumor.[4] He had surgery, during which the tumor was discovered to be benign, but it was surrounded by blood vessels, which led to complications. He was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list by the Lions on October 21, ending his season.[5]

His friend and former Cleveland Browns teammate Josh Cribbs said Harrison is suffering from seizures.[6]

On Thanksgiving 2012, CBS aired a special documenting Harrison's recovery. Harrison and his family spoke candidly about his harrowing journey. In it he, his wife and mother mention that he was expected to be a quadriplegic, but he had been very tenacious in his recovery and has regained many of his motor skills.

Career statistics


  Rushing Receiving
Season Team GP Att Yds Avg Long TD Rec Yds Long TD
2006 Cleveland Browns 10 20 60 3.0 15 0 9 47 12 0
2007 Cleveland Browns 8 23 142 6.2 17 0 2 19 15 0
2008 Cleveland Browns 15 34 248 7.2 72T 1 12 116 23 1
2009 Cleveland Browns 14 194 862 4.4 71T 5 34 220 18 2
2010 Cleveland Browns/Philadelphia Eagles 6 44 206 4.7 50T 1 5 57 15 0
Career 53 315 1,516 4.8 72T 7 62 459 23 3

Personal life

Harrison is married to Michelle. They have three children, Jiselle, Jerome and Joelle.


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