Syracuse wide receiver Taj Harris is out for the Orange’s game against Albany on Saturday. Harris has 14 catches for 151 yards through two games. On the ACC Network broadcast, it was indicated that Harris was out due to injury not disciplinary reasons. Harris is the top pass catcher for the Orange. Syracuse entered the game 1-1 on the season.
Harris tweeted before the start of the game that he will be back next week when the Orange hosts Liberty.
Harris has already made history this season after making one catch on the Orange's opening drive against Ohio in the 2021 season opener. That one catch pushed him past Marvin Harrison for fifth on Syracuse's all-time receptions list. Harris entered the game tied with the NFL Hall of Famer with 135 catches. He now has 136.
Harris is not done yet with the record book, however, He has a legitimate chance to become Syracuse's all-time leading receiver in a variety of categories.
Taj Harris entered the 2021 season with 135 catches for 1,857 yards and 10 touchdowns during his three seasons with Syracuse. In order to top the career list in each category, Harris would need a 89 receptions for 1,035 yards and 13 touchdowns. All would be career highs.
Last season, Harris had 58 catches for 733 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games. Over 12 games, that would equate to 70 catches for 880 yards and six touchdowns. That season would put Harris third in career receptions with 205 (behind Steve Ishmael and Erv Philips), second in career receiving yards with 2,737 (behind Steve Ishmael) and tied for seventh with 16 career touchdowns. That would still be quite the accomplishment.
Of the three categories, yards seems the most attainable. In order to top the receptions list, Harris would need to increase his catches per game from 5.8 last season to 7.4, or a 27.6% jump. To become the all time leader in receiving yards, Harris would need to improve his yards per game from 73.3 to 86.3, or a 17.7% jump. Harris would have to improve his touchdowns per game from 0.5 to 1.1, or a 120% jump.
Such a season would require an increase in production, but is not impossible. Harris will be the number one target this season, and improved his receptions per game by 87% last season, yards per game by 57% and touchdowns by 150% compared to the 2019 campaign.
Of course with an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, Harris could elect to return in 2022 and shatter all of those numbers. Even if he does not, a big 2021 season would not only be good for the Orange but also Harris' place in the record books.