Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletic Communications
Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletic Communications

Jack Harrison signs with Adidas, turns pro

The pride and centerpiece of the 2015 Wake Forest men’s soccer team, first-year midfielder Jack Harrison, has made his decision to join the ranks of professional soccer by signing a Generation Adidas contract.

The contract, which represents a joint partnership between Major League Soccer (MLS) and Adidas, which is designed to accelerate the process of talented high school and collegiate soccer players moving to the MLS.

Ultimately, these contracts are given in hopes that they will raise the quality of soccer in America and the MLS in order to be able to compete on an international level.

The contract will also provide Harrison with money to finish his education if he should choose to do so in the future.

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Four other former collegiate players have signed Generation Adidas contracts since the end of the 2015 season, and will be eligible to be selected in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, Jan. 14, in Baltimore, Md.

Harrison announced his decision on Thursday, Jan. 7. While the departure didn’t come as a shock to the Deacon faithful, there was speculation that Harrison would return as the offensive catalyst for the Demon Deacons, after seeing spectacular and unprecedented individual success in his first year of collegiate soccer.

Harrison notched eight goals and 11 assists for a total of 27 points this past season, setting the freshman record for the latter two. 

Harrison was a constant threat with the ball at his feet for the Deacons, leading them to the Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament play and creating a fresh buzz around campus for the men’s soccer team with his ability to make a defender look foolish.

The midfielder accomplished an unbelievable amount in his lone season, racking up an ACC Offensive Player of the Year award and an ACC Freshman of the Year award, as well as being named to the NSCAA All-American First Team, the All-ACC First Team, the ACC All-Freshman Team and the NSCAA All-South Region First Team.

Harrison is the first freshman to ever win both ACC Offensive Player of the year and Freshman of the Year in the same season, and was also honored as a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist, which is a trophy given to the best collegiate player in the nation.

“It is with a heavy heart that I embark on the next journey of my life,” Harrison said.

“It has been an incredible experience playing with such a talented and inspiring group this year at Wake Forest. The fans and support from the community is something I will never forget.

“I want to give a big thank you to Coach Bobby Muuss, the staff, administration and all my teammates for their support,” Harrison said.

Wake Forest will miss the presence of such a dynamic player on the pitch.

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