TAHLEQUAH — Kyler Harris was inserted into Northeastern State’s starting lineup as a sophomore in 2012. He didn’t waste any time in having an impact.
The 6-foot, 180-pound strong safety had seven tackles and an interception in the RiverHawks’ opening game against Pittsburg State last season.
Following that is when the former Muskogee standout’s season took a turn for the worse. Against Missouri Southern, NSU’s second game of the season, Harris re-injured the same right leg that caused him to miss his senior year of high school.
“There was a cyst that had formed in my right tibia, and it apparently hollowed out my tibia. So that bone like an egg shell waiting to break,” Harris said. “I’ve had surgery on this leg before, and (doctors) think it may of come from that. So when I made a cut, the bone finally gave.
“They had to go in and cut the bone open and fill it with artificial bone until it solidified.”
Harris ended up missing out on the RiverHawks’ remaining trek during their inaugural season in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
On Saturday in NSU’s annual Green and White spring game, Harris returned and electrified the crowd of 850 with his 98-yard interception return for a touchdown. Harris was also instrumental in the Green team pitching a shutout in a 29-0 rout.
“Those guys jumped out (to me),” NSU head coach Kenny Evans said of Harris and linebacker, Langston Jones, who had a fumble recovery in the first quarter. “...Hopefully this will lead to some good things in the fall.”
Harris’ interception return added to Green’s 7-0 lead at the time. Green’s first score came on its third possession, which began with Jones’ fumble recovery at White’s 16-yard line and ended with Johnny Deaton’s 2-yard touchdown pass to fullback Nate Ross to end the first quarter.