Romello Harris is coming home.
The former Tulare High standout is transferring to Fresno State after redshirting last season at Washington State.
Harris is the second former high-profile local recruit to announce his return to the hometown team in the past two months. Edison alum Leevel Tatum III announced in early June that he intended to transfer into the Bulldogs program after being released from his scholarship at UNLV.
“(Fresno State’s interest) means a lot, especially with the new coaches in there,” Harris told The Bee on Thursday. “They let you know they’re focused on competing in the Mountain West and getting back to the (conference) championship.”
Harris, who will play running back, met with first-year coach Jeff Tedford and left impressed with what he had to say.
“His philosophy in taking back the Valley and I was, ‘OK, that’s smart,’ ” he said. “Why let a Division I recruit go to the Pac-12 when he’s in your backyard 20 to 30 minutes away. I watched games when he was at Cal … Marshawn Lynch and them and I watched reruns and I know what he’s capable of.”
Harris, listed at 5 feet, 9 inches and 182 pounds, is on track to reunite with current Tulare senior wide receiver Emoryie Edwards, who recently committed to the Bulldogs. Both players posed for a photo-op Thursday.
As a high school senior in 2015, Harris rushed for 1,943 yards and 25 touchdowns in nine games, averaging 9.6 yards per carry and 215.9 per game. He had seven 100-yard games that year.
Harris talked to several Fresno State players and enjoyed the reviews they were giving Tedford and the rest of the new staff.
“They feel like they’re definitely changing the program around,” he said. “Things are getting done.
“As soon as I heard (Tedford) was going to get hired and people that I know that are big Bulldogs fans who said he was going to focus on the Valley. … I felt I wanted to get back and I want to play for that.”