WVU football’s No. 9 will officially be retired on Nov. 6 in honor of former quarterback Major Harris when the Mountaineers host Oklahoma State.
Harris, a WVU and College Football hall of famer, will become the fifth Mountaineer in history to have his number retired. He follows Sam Huff’s No. 75, Ira “Rat” Rodgers’s No. 21 and Bruce Bosley’s No. 77, along with Darryl Talley’s No. 90, which will be retired earlier in the season.
The Pittsburgh native had a breakout 1987 season as a redshirt freshman, tallying 1,200 passing yards and 615 rushing yards. The next year, he led WVU to the program’s first-ever undefeated regular season in 1988.
Harris solidified that season in Mountaineer history with one broken play, cutting through the Penn State defense and making seven tacklers miss as he bolted into the end zone in the first quarter. WVU crushed Penn State in Morgantown at the final whistle, 51-30.
The Mountaineers went on to compete for the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 1 Notre Dame, but Harris was forced to leave the game in the first quarter with an injury to his throwing shoulder.
That didn’t slow down his career, though. Harris was an offensive machine as a junior in 1989, twice out-gaining opponents by himself (Penn State and Boston College), and landing at third in that year’s Heisman voting.
Harris set a record with 7,334 total yards and become one of just two quarterbacks in Division I history to throw for 5,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards in his career. He was inducted to the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 before landing a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame a year later.