Harris Roberts plays as Furman's quarterback but studies engineering at Clemson in a cooperative educational exchange program.

By Jenna West
August 15, 2018

When Clemson and Furman face off in the season opener, a Tigers student could play against the university as the Paladins' quarterback.

Furman quarterback Harris Roberts is enrolled in a cooperative educational exchange program that allows him to play for one school and study at another. Furman, a private liberal arts school in Greenville, S.C., only has a pre-engineering program. Roberts earned his degree in the program in three years and is working on earning his second bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Clemson, according to the Greenville News.

However, one of the biggest demands for this student-athlete is time management. Roberts drives 30 miles from Furman's campus to attend classes at Clemson.

"This was my best opportunity to play high-level football and study engineering," Roberts told the Greenville News. "The drive back and forth sometimes gets a little monotonous. That takes a lot of time out of the day that I could use for studying for class, studying film or taking a nap. Being able to manage my time has been the most difficult part, but it's been going well."

According to Hunter Reid, Furman's sports information director, "several" Paladins have participated in the partnership program with Clemson over 30 years but never in the same year as a Clemson-Furman game.

Roberts said his Clemson classmates and professors are surprised when they first find out where he plays.

"Once they figure out that I play football at Furman, they're kind of shell-shocked," Roberts said. "They just kind of think it's funny that they're going to class with someone who is going to play against them."

Roberts is competing for the starting quarterback position this year after playing backup to P.J. Blazejowski last season. In his limited role, Roberts rushed for 71 yards on five carries and completed nine of 13 pass attempts.

If he gets the starting job, Roberts will be the first quarterback Clemson faces in 2018, as they look to return to the College Football Playoff for a fourth consecutive year. Furman plays Clemson at Death Valley on Saturday, Sept. 1.

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