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Former Warner Robins Demon gets a chance to play NCAA college football

CJ Harris was allegedly denied a chance to play NCAA football because he was taking an experimental drug that contains THC, which helped treat his epileptic seizures

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — It was a day of uplifting. It was a day of scholarship, perseverance, and a day CJ Harris has been patiently waiting for to share with his family and friends.

“I will be signing with Arkansas State,” Harris said. “And will be playing football there for the next four years.”

Harris was a college football recruit two years ago.

As a graduating senior from Warner Robins High School, CJ ran into complications with the NCAA after they found out he was taking a small trace of the chemical THC to treat seizures caused by epilepsy.

RELATED: Former Warner Robins Demon stays grinding, fights to play college football

It’s been a battle ever since, making national headlines and creating moral debates, however political supporters like former Representative Allen Peake say they are proud of CJ’s success.

“He’s struggled a lot with his medical condition of epilepsy,” Peake said. “And I’m so proud that’s he’s taken a stand that he can prove that even those who may have physical limitations can still excel when they put their heart and desire and a good attitude toward it. I’m very proud.”

‪Darn proud to be with CJ Harris as he signed a football scholarship with Arkansas State today. CJ is a great kid who has persevered through incredible hardships to reach his dream of playing college...

After CJ’s preferred walk on offer at Auburn was rescinded, he enrolled into a prep school in Massachusetts before transferring to junior college the following year.

More adversity ensued when CJ was injured, ending his season before it really got started. Eventually, CJ caught the attention of someone willing to take a chance.

His father, Curtis, couldn’t be more proud.

“I’ve always had faith that God would open doors I just didn’t know when. And at the end of the day you never know when but I always prayed because I knew he was opening up another door when I thought the door was closed or he opened up another door when I thought the door was closed,” Curtis said.

After nearly three years of having his faith tested, CJ is ready for the road ahead — playing football at Arkansas State on a full athletic scholarship, preparing for post-graduate life in the medical field, and possibly even a shot at the NFL.

CJ says whatever happens, there’s no turning back.

“You just keep going,” he said. “I’ve powered through with my support team I got. I just realized that dreams have changed and Auburn may have not been the spot for me, and it’s all in God’s hands now so he made the way to where I am now.

It was a day of congratulations, but mostly it was a day CJ won’t forget.

Curtis says the NCAA increased the minimum dosage of THC allowed, which should help protect CJ even though he has never tested positive while taking the drug.

His last seizure was in Jan. of 2017. Since he’s been on the medication he hasn’t had any problems.

CJ plans to enroll at Arkansas State in January as a junior in the classroom. Because he played at a prep school and was medically red-shirted at junior college, he’ll still have four years to compete on the gridiron.


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