GJ’s Marques Harris still giving back to his hometown
He was known as the NFL linebacker who would do a back flip after a sack.
On Thursday, two years after retirement from football, Marques Harris was all business. Dressed in an aqua-blue golf polo, Harris took a seat and pulled out a notebook with a penned outline. In an articulate manner, and with the green fairways and a slanting red-rock layout of the Redlands Mesa Golf Course stretching behind glass over his shoulder, the former San Diego Chargers linebacker began speaking.
The business entrepreneur and 2000 Grand Junction High School graduate is at it again.
He spoke about the Harris Kids Football Camp on July 14 that will benefit the Harris’ Kids Foundation.
And he doled out details about the Marques Harris Celebrity Golf Scramble on July 13 at Redlands Mesa, an event where players bid on the celebrity athletes they’ll play with.
The playing fee is $150 per person and includes golf cart, practice bag, team play and a goodie bag, Food and drink will be served on the course and after the tournament. There also will be opportunities to meet athletes.
Money raised from the tournament and the football camp will go toward the Marques Harris Foundation, which benefits Grand Junction High School football and wrestling programs.
Harris, 30, was a Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News all-state football player and 189-pound wrestling state champion as a senior at Grand Junction.
The football camp will take place at Stocker Stadium on July 14 at 8 a.m.
Cost is $25 for kids and covers activities, the Western Rockies Sports Combine (electronically-timed drills) and admission to the Grand Junction Gladiators semi-pro football game at 3 p.m. that afternoon.
Harris said he will bring San Diego Chargers starting cornerback Quentin Jammer and Chargers defensive end Jacques Cesaire.
The camp will include various drills and speed and agility training.
“The kids get a chance to get coached by some of the best trainers and athletes,” Harris said.
Harris said when he was in high school, he attended camps at Arizona State University and the University of Colorado.
But he said that as a kid, he did not meet any professional athletes, something he thinks will benefit the young athletes at the camp.
“Grand Junction is my hometown,” Harris said, “and I love giving back. I definitely feel blessed to have been able to play in the NFL and now actually have an opportunity to give back to the community.”
And he wants players on the Western Slope to know it doesn’t matter where they come from.
“If players go out and perform, and they’re great players, there are scouts all over, and they’re going to find you,” Harris said. “I’ve known guys I’ve played with who came from small towns and smaller areas than Grand Junction.”