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Riders sign QB Isaac Harker

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  • Riders sign QB Isaac Harker

    Was at the Florida Mimi-camp...You'll have to go down a few paragraphs where it talks about him and the Riders...Hope to see more young QB's signed.


    Published 11:16 a.m. ET April 16, 2019 | Updated 12:03 p.m. ET April 16, 2019 Former Lebanon QB and valedictorian is charting his own, unique path to a potential pro football career. Matthew Glenesk, Wochit

    CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

    Isaac Harker played quarterback for a small high school and had no major college offers. He was a walk-on at Indiana State, which is not exactly a powerhouse. He lost his starting job on the 0-11 Sycamores.

    You can’t start for a winless team, you just forget football, right? Harker thought otherwise.

    In fact, thinking is why Harker is where he is. The former Lebanon High School valedictorian has “incredibly functional football intelligence,” said Tim Jenkins, a quarterbacks coach and former pro QB.

    Now, even before next week's NFL draft, Harker has a landing spot in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It is as if he dropped out of the sky. Or, in this case, was a secret hidden in a mineshaft.
    Colorado School of the Mines QB Isaac Harker. (Photo: Courtesy of Lynette Harker)
    Out of Colorado School of Mines, here comes the QB-you’ve-never-heard-of-but-soon-will. Pass for 3,858 yards and 39 touchdowns in a season, and pro scouts find out.

    “It’s been such a wild ride,” said Harker, 23. “So many ups and downs. It’s kind of crazy to look back and think about where I was four years ago, or three years ago, or even a year ago.”

    A year ago, the former three-sport athlete was coming off spring practice for the Orediggers, who belong to NCAA Division II. (How can you not like a team named Orediggers?)

    Harker was battling for the starting job with Ben Bottlinger, who had completed 57% of his passes for 1,711 yards and 12 touchdowns the previous autumn. In fact, Colorado Mines coach Gregg Brandon would not have accepted Harker if the quarterback had not enrolled for spring semester. The coach did his research and took a chance.

    “It wasn’t a slam dunk last spring that he was going to be the guy,” said Brandon, 63, who once was Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator and succeeded Meyer as Bowling Green head coach.

    Harker had followed Ryan Diedrick, an Indiana State assistant who joined Colorado Mines as receivers coach. With the Sycamores, the quarterback redshirted his first year, played three games in 2015 and completed 58% of his passes for 2,559 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2016. He was on his way.

    Or not.

    Mike Sanford was fired as Indiana State coach after that season, succeeded by Curt Mallory. Harker was benched in the first game of 2017, and he split time with freshman Cade Sparks thereafter. The Sycamores went 0-11.

    “I respect the coach’s decision. It’s competitive every single way you go,” Harker said.

    From 2014: Uncommon Isaac Harker named IndyStar's Sportsman of the Year
    Isaac Harker (5) drops back to pass for Colorado School of the Mines. (Photo: Courtesy of Lynette Harker)
    As a graduate, he would have immediate eligibility by transferring elsewhere, so he settled on Colorado Mines for its academic programs. He is completing a master’s degree in mineral and energy economics.

    Harker said leaving for another college is much harder than is portrayed or understood. He was not thinking NFL. He just wanted to play football.

    “I was fortunate coming to Mines, having such a veteran team that took me in and made me one of their own,” he said. “I think it’s really rare. Especially for a transfer quarterback to be so well received by a team.”

    A few practices into 2018, Mines had a new starting QB. When did Brandon know he made the right decision?

    He had a good idea in the first quarter of the first game. Harker passed for four touchdowns, all to wide receiver Brady Oliver, another pro prospect. During each week, respect grew. Support our journalism Become an IndyStar subscriber today to support stories like this one. Get unlimited digital access here!
    “He was wearing our staff out as far as watching film, asking questions,” Brandon said. “He is one of those gym rat kids who loves to play the game. His persistence will give him a chance to potentially make it.”

    Harker went on to finish first in Division II in TD passes, second in yards, and fourth in percentage (.665) and passing efficiency. Working out of a spread offense, he passed for 300 yards in nine of 12 games and had four games of five TDs each. He went from an 0-11 team to one that was 10-2.

    The Orediggers won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference before losing to CSU-Pueblo 37-17 in the first round of the national playoffs. In icy conditions, Harker was sacked seven times and had three passes intercepted.

    That probably was not his last football game.

    He was referred to Jenkins, 28, who runs a Colorado training program for quarterbacks. Among Jenkins’ proteges is Phillip “P.J.” Walker, who made the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad. Buy Photo

    Isaac Harker was IndyStar Sportsman of the Year his senior year at Lebanon. (Photo: Matt Kryger/The Star)
    The 5-11, 216-pound Walker is undersized, as is Harker, 6-0, 195. That did not matter at Lebanon — where Harker once passed for 383 yards against No. 1 Cathedral and led the Tigers to an 8-3 season in 2013 — but does in the NFL.

    Harker performed in front of scouts during Northern Colorado’s pro day. After a Florida tryout with the Roughriders, he was offered a CFL contract that he plans to sign Wednesday, thus taking him out of any NFL training camps. But, as Harker put it, transitioning to the NFL is not uncommon.

    “He definitely turned some heads,” said Ethan Jansen, who is Harker’s agent.

    Other than size, Brandon said, the quarterback has the prerequisites: accuracy, velocity, arm strength. Harker was force-fed, by Jenkins, the kind of film cut-ups that pro quarterbacks typically review.

    “They’re going to learn quickly, this guy can digest information like the top guys in the league,” Jenkins said. “That just helps your quarterback room.”

    Harker found one general manager to dig him. The Oredigger can do the rest.
    Last edited by Trav; 04-16-2019, 04:46 PM.

  • #2
    Hopefully this one can be the guy. Lord knows we need that QB of the future. Agree with the OP, hope to see a few more.

    Comment


    • #3
      https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/20...udfa-steelers/

      The Pittsburgh Steelers appear to be set at quarterback for years to come with Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph. On the surface, there’s definitely no need to draft one, either. However, when training camp rolls around, there’s always a job around to pick up some of the workload.

      Most jobbers have no chance of making an NFL roster, or even the practice squad, but it’s not unheard of. Every now and then, one of these camp bodies rises above the expectations – or lack thereof – to earn a spot as the No. 3 quarterback. One example is Kurt Warner.

      Warner never saw himself as a jobber. He believed in his abilities. Former Indiana State Sycamore and Colorado School of Mines quarterback Isaac Harker believes in his abilities, too, and is worth an invite to camp from the Steelers as a possible UDFA if he isn’t selected in April. Bio

      • 2018 three-time RMAC Offensive Player of The Week
      • 2018 NFFCC Colorado Player of the Week Oct 29
      • 2016 Honorable Mention All-MVFC at Indiana State University
      • 2016 – 20/36 for 237 yards and three touchdowns vs Minnesota Golden Gophers
      • 39 touchdown passes led all D-II quarterbacks
      • Led Rocky Mountain conference averaging 319.3 yards per game
      From walk-on to unquestioned leader

      Harker joined the Indiana State Sycamores as a walk-on and earned and promptly earned a scholarship. He put together a solid sophomore season in 2016 that included five 300 yard games. Overall, Harker completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 2,559 yards and 19 touchdowns. Following a 2017 season where Harker saw reduced action, he followed one of his coaches and transferred to Colorado School of Mines.

      Harker blossomed in their pro-style offense and with the freedom he was given to get the offense in the right play. He completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 3,858 yards, 39 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Twenty-one of Harker’s touchdown passes went to Brody Oliver, making them Division II’s most explosive duo. Harker’s uncanny ability to quickly pick up the offense and his fierce competitiveness made him the perfect fit for that offense. Positives

      Harker is very confident and has total belief in what he can do on the field. His confidence is born from a non-stop work ethic that always has Harker looking for ways to improve his game. His confidence is matched by his superior football I.Q. which has really impressed some scouts, who are familiar with him, within the Indianapolis Colts organization.

      Harker’s impressive football I.Q. allows him to pick up the playbook quickly. His ability for instant recall of previous situations keeps him making the same mistakes twice, which he rarely does.

      Harker is very poised in the pocket, and efficiently slides around to avoid pressure. While he’s capable of using his legs to avoid trouble, Harker habitually looks downfield to pick up more meaningful yardage. He most certainly has the arm strength to make all the necessary throws as well.

      From Draft Diamonds, Harker prioritizes film study, strength and conditioning, and practice.
      1 – Film Study

      2 – Practice

      3 – Strength and Conditioning

      I ranked them as follows because, in my position, I feel that film study unlocks the true potential of a player. Via studying yourself and the opposing defenses, you are able to play faster and have an advantage both pre and post snap. Practice would be second on my tier list because this is where you can put film study to the test. Repetition allows you to get better, and making mistakes in practice can help ensure you excel moving forward if you’re the type of player who won’t make the same mistake twice. I think strength and conditioning are key because it allows you to make the plays that you can see developing in front of you.
      Negatives

      Harker’s size may be viewed as a negative, but in today’s NFL, it’s not the liability it used to be. At 6-foot and 190 pounds, Harker is similar in size to Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield, and Drew Brees. It may help though to add another 10 pounds to his frame. No, the biggest knocks against Harker are the lack of exposure from playing at a small school and the number of games he played. Down to the wire

      Isaac Harker may not be a big-time prospect from a big-time school, but he can play the game. He has produced when given the opportunity and has done so in a big way, especially in 2018. His confidence, high football I.Q., and his fierce competitiveness make him worth taking a late flyer on. Why? because Harker doesn’t see himself as a jobber. Harker believes he’s as good as anyone in the draft and intends on earning a job this fall.

      Was also reading an interview with him earlier. Masters degree in economics, so obviously a bright guy.



      https://locker-report.com/the-combin...ems-watch-list

      ISAAC HARKER (COLO. SCH. OF MINES) – 6-0, 195-pounds – Loves to extend plays with legs, athletic, but runs as a third option, rifle arm, quick release, good feet, moves well in the pocket. Honorable Mention All-America. Completed 280 passes out of 421 attempts for 3,858 yards (second most in the nation), while averaging the second most yards at 321.5 per outing. Led the country in touchdown passes at 39 (12 interceptions) and finished fourth in the nation for completion percentage at .665.
      #keepthepromise

      Onward with escaping the hopeless fantasy of an artificial freedom and darkened picket fences the disillusioned front of friendly foes

      Comment


      • #4
        Can't help but cheer for a kid like this. I hope he does well.

        Comment


        • #5
          a promising prospect. Hope he is that diamond in the rough.

          Comment


          • #6
            The second Colorado School of Mines qb to try out for the Riders. Taman or Tillman brought in a guy from there that was super tall.

            Good to see he he hasn’t been deemed a hobo yet
            Rider QB Scrappin in Full Swing

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds promising, but gotta take an agent talking their guy up with a grain of salt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bigsexydawg View Post
                The second Colorado School of Mines qb to try out for the Riders. Taman or Tillman brought in a guy from there that was super tall.

                Good to see he he hasn’t been deemed a hobo yet
                Chad Friehauf

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tyree View Post

                  Chad Friehauf
                  There you go
                  Rider QB Scrappin in Full Swing

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bigsexydawg View Post
                    Good to see he he hasn’t been deemed a hobo yet
                    He hasn't had his official Squishing... yet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tyree View Post

                      He hasn't had his official Squishing... yet.
                      Careful or you will get a stern scolding.
                      Rider QB Scrappin in Full Swing

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bigsexydawg View Post

                        Good to see he he hasn’t been deemed a hobo yet
                        In fairness ...... were any of those “deemed hobos” actually not hobos?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bingo_Arms View Post

                          In fairness ...... were any of those “deemed hobos” actually not hobos?
                          Hard to tell when hobos is what we have had for offensive coaches. I was going to say it is a mistake to have an OL coach as a OC but upon reflection I changed my mind as John Gregory, Gary Hoffman and Joe Faraghelli were all OL coaches and I like the way their offences could move the ball.
                          Last edited by Tyree; 04-16-2019, 06:36 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Stands in there well and isn't afraid of the rush. Throws with velocity. The thing I like are his YouTube videos and the tight coverage and windows he throws into. Lots of college QBs throw to nothing but wide open guys which isn't all that impressive. However, the level of competition Harker's been up against doesn't seem to be that great.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rider_Stronson View Post
                              Stands in there well and isn't afraid of the rush. Throws with velocity. The thing I like are his YouTube videos and the tight coverage and windows he throws into. Lots of college QBs throw to nothing but wide open guys which isn't all that impressive. However, the level of competition Harker's been up against doesn't seem to be that great.
                              I like the combination of athletic ability and grey matter betwixt his lugs.

                              Comment

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