HBCU quarterbacks Doug Williams, James Harris credit Grambling coach for success
CANTON − James "Shack" Harris recalled when legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell posed a question to Grambling State University football coach Eddie Robinson.
Although the legendary Robinson had seen scores of his athletes play in the NFL, the provocative Cosell asked him why none of them were a quarterback.
So Robinson told Harris that in four years he would leave Grambling prepared to play quarterback for an NFL team.
"He came by my house and talked to me and ... he said, 'James ... America's not ready now, but in four years, America will be ready for a Black quarterback if you come to Grambling," said Harris, who played for the Grambling Tigers from 1965 to 1968.
Harris shared the story during an appearance Thursday night with fellow Grambling alum and former NFL quarterback Doug Williams. The duo spoke at the Canton Palace Theatre as part of the Stark County Library's Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series.