TAMPA — Malik Davis casts a long shadow.
Hillsborough County's all-time leading rusher has spent the better part of four years chewing up yards and garnering attention. Davis this, Davis that. It's enough to make an uber-talented teammate plenty jealous.
Not Travell Harris.
"I've been playing with Malik my whole life, so I'm used to it," Harris said. "I couldn't be happier with how things have turned out."
Harris and Davis have been terrorizing local fields since they were old enough to carry a football. And through the years, the pair has developed a unique bond.
"Me and Malik are like brothers," he said. "He deserves everything because he's worked so hard. I'm proud of him."
Davis has carved his name into the esteemed Hillsborough County history books throughout his tenure at Jesuit. But a closer look reveals just how important his buddy Harris is to the Tigers.
Just ask Jesuit coach Matt Thompson.
"Malik is Malik and he's a great running back and everything," Thompson said. "But when you talk about MVP, it'd have to be Travell."
That's pretty high praise considering Davis' shining star.
"He does it all for us," Thompson said.
Harris' name might have never appeared in the same size font as Davis, but the do-it-all senior has plenty of highlights in his reel. Harris rarely leaves the field — only taking a breather on punt and kickoff teams — and has picked up offers from Missouri, Purdue and USF, just to name a few.
Harris is the Tigers' top receiver, hauling in 16 passes for 457 yards and seven touchdowns. He also is responsible for jump-starting each Jesuit possession as kick and punt returner. Harris has returned three punts for TD and another kickoff for a score.
Add all that up and he's averaging 25.4 yards each time he touches the ball.
"I try to use my speed and elusiveness once I get into the open field," Harris said. "I just try to make plays to help my team win a ball game. A lot of teams want to commit to the run with Malik, but then that frees me up."
Oh yeah, he plays a little defense, too. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder has recorded two picks and batted down a team-high five passes.
"People stay away from him at corner," Thompson said. "But let's put it this way, he's better when he has the ball in his hands."
Harris would likely have more touchdowns on his resume, but Thompson has pulled the reins back to ensure Davis set the county mark.
"Travell would probably have 15 returns for touchdowns had we not told him to fair catch punts against teams that weren't very good so we could get Malik this record and get it out of the way," Thompson said. "Travell is a total team player and he was man enough to do that. It says a lot about his character."
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Harris admitted he sometimes thinks about what it would be like to play on another area team and dominate the box score.
"I'm not going to lie, it has crossed my mind before," Harris said with a chuckle.
But those thoughts seem fleeting. Harris comes off as far more concerned with putting a ring on his finger than reading about his name in the headlines. And there's always a chance for a big game when Jesuit (8-0) meets rival Tampa Catholic (5-2) on Friday night.
"I believe God put me at Jesuit for a reason," Harris said. "Me and Malik have a very special bond. When we are on the field, we know exactly what each other is going to do. And right now it's all about winning states."