The roster at Western Michigan officially received a Power Five boost Wednesday.
In late November, wide receiver Drake Harris announced that he had decided to transfer from Michigan, confirming three months later that he would be moving on to WMU. Earlier this month, after opting to transfer from Syracuse in mid-December, defensive back Juwan Dowels (pictured) took to social media to announce he had landed in Kalamazoo as well.
Wednesday, the MAC football program formally announced the additions of both players. As each are coming to the Broncos as graduate transfers, they will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.
“We are excited about the size and athleticism Drake brings to our wide receiver corps,” said head coach Tim Lester in a statement. “He played his high school ball just up the road in Grand Rapids and I know he is excited about showcasing his skill set in Kalamazoo. …
“Juwan brings valuable experience to a young secondary unit, having played in the same defensive scheme as ours in his freshman and sophomore seasons. His 24 [games] in the ACC will help solidify the back half of our defensive in 2018.”
A four-star 2014 signee, Harris was rated as the No. 7 receiver in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Michigan; and the No. 68 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Just one signee in the Wolverines’ class that year, five-star athlete and 2017 NFL first-round draft pick Jabrill Peppers, was rated higher than Harris.
Despite that impressive recruiting pedigree, Harris was never able to turn the recruiting hype into on-field production. During his four seasons at U-M, he caught eight passes for 50 yards, including one for 10 against Ohio State this season.
Harris also spent time as a cornerback in 2017.
Dowels played in 24 games during his time with the Orange, starting seven of those contests. Five of those starts came during the 2015 season, while he started one of the first two games of 2016 before going down with a season-ending knee injury.
During his three years, Dowels was credited with 69 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and eight passes defensed. He also picked off a pair of passes, including one in his final season with the Orange.
In the release announcing the players’ additions to the roster, the school also noted an interesting twist involving both players:
Both Dowels and Harris will get to face their former teams this upcoming fall. Western Michigan hosts Syracuse in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 31 in Kalamazoo. The Broncos travel to Michigan for game two, taking on the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 8.