BYU football’s Harris cousins turn childhood dream into reality

BYU football teammates and cousins Koy (24) and Mitch (98) Harris pose after the blue and white game on April 7. (Tre Harris)

Young football fans dream of growing up and playing at the collegiate or professional level.

Whether it be during backyard scrimmages with family or friends or at school during recess or lunchtime, such young fans can’t help but fantasize what it would be like to play at such a level.

For cousins Mitch and Koy Harris, these childhood dreams are now their reality.

“We all just dreamed about growing up and playing football for BYU together,” Koy said. “It’s just that dream that motivates us. Mitch and I talk about it all the time, just how we got to where we are now.”

The Harris cousins grew up in the same neighborhood in Las Vegas and would play backyard football with each other every chance they got. Mitch and Koy would usually team up to play against Mitch’s younger brother Cam and Koy’s older brother Tre. However, they would occasionally switch up teams whenever it seemed unfair.

“Whenever I wanted to win, I would team up with Mitch and we would beat up on our little brothers,” Tre said.

Mitch’s family moved to Arizona while he was still in elementary school, making it hard to play together. However, all four brothers continued to pursue their football dreams individually. They all ended up playing high school football and would still practice together whenever they visited each other.

“We would play football literally every time we would get together,” Mitch said. “Football was life.”

Sports has always been a big part of the Harris family genetics. Koy’s dad and brother played football at the collegiate level, while Mitch’s side of the family was always big into football, basketball and soccer. Cam chose to focus more on soccer in high school after playing football for only his freshman year.

Although Mitch and Koy have always dreamed to one day play at BYU together, they knew it wouldn’t be easy. They hadn’t been recruited by BYU out of high school and knew that trying to walk on was the only way.

Koy (26) and Mitch (98) Harris stand on the sideline during a game at Arizona on Sept. 1, 2018. (Tre Harris)

“Walking on was tough because the coaches don’t really know who you are,” Mitch said. “You basically get one day of tryouts and it’s based (on) pure skill. You just have to see if they’ll take a chance on you.”

Koy’s thoughts mirrored Mitch’s, adding that players need to earn the respect of the coaches as walk-ons.

Mitch currently plays as a deep snapper, and Koy is listed as a wide receiver and is also on the backup punt team. Although they practice together every day, they hope to one day fully realize their dream and play together during a game.

“We haven’t been able to be on the field at the same time yet during a game,” Mitch said. “Hopefully soon though.”

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