Ruston, Louisiana is the home of one of the more unique names in college football: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs WR Smoke Harris. With his speed at wide receiver and history of starring in track and field, it’s easy to see how the name “Smoke” fits him.
However, that’s not his real name.
What Is Smoke Harris’ Real Name?
Though “Smoke” became his nickname at the age of eight. He was born Davon Deon Harris.
How did he earn the unique name?
Per WAFB CBS 9 in December 2017, his ability to cut and run up the field literally looked like smoke.
“He ran so fast that, when he would make cuts, the dust would fly up from under his feet,” Johnny Lombardi of WAFB CBS 9 wrote during a time Harris starred at West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville. “The name, and the ability, still applies.”
Along with his nickname, Harris became revered for his state and sporting accolades.
His 2017 gridiron season ended with a state football title. Harris racked up 300 all-purpose yards, including 167 on kick returns, to secure the State 3A Championship for West Feliciana. That total yardage became a state record.
Outside of football, Harris starred in basketball, baseball, and track as a rare four-sport athlete at his high school. But with his reported 4.41 time in the 40-yard dash, football became his calling.
Even with his diminutive 5’5″ stature at the prep level, Harris was still offered by multiple NCAA Division I universities. In-state programs Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana under then-head coach Billy Napier, Tulane, Grambling State, then Jackson State, Army, San Diego State, and Memphis all offered him.
Ultimately, it was Louisiana Tech that got all the Smoke.
Harris Living Up to the Nickname At Louisiana Tech
After signing early for the 2018 class, the now 5’7″ Harris has established himself as one of Conference USA’s more dominating wideouts.
He earned All-CUSA First Team honors in 2022 after delivering the following — a team-high 65 receptions, 635 receiving yards, and five touchdown receptions. But he also led the conference with an average of 12.4 yards per punt return.
He also led CUSA with 27.2 yards per kick return.
Harris was even more productive the previous season.
In 2021, he caught 71 passes for 756 yards and crossed the end zone seven times. He ended up with 955 all-purpose yards.
Now? He recently dusted UTEP on a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown on October 2 and a pair of catch-and-run plays on August 26 and on September 16, respectively, showed that Smoke is still living up to the name.
He landed a spot on the CFN First-Team Midseason All-Conference USA Team at the midway point of the 2023 season.
For his career, he’s racked up a combined 4,410 yards with 25 touchdowns.
And it’s all because Davon Allen Harris has brought the “Smoke.”