Former South Carolina State football All-American and National Football League standout Dwayne Harper was one of five persons inducted into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday during an enshrinement at the Sheraton Waterside.
Harper, an Orangeburg native who enjoyed a standout career (1984-87) as a defensive back for the Bulldogs before embarking on a successful NFL career, was joined in the prestigious hall by retired Sports Information Director Alvin Hollins of Florida A&M, All-American bowler Jessica Worsley of Maryland Eastern Shore, Hampton wide receiver and track standout Jerome Mathis, and Norfolk State basketball standout and current National Basketball Association player Kyle O’Quinn, who was unable to attend as his Indiana Pacers had a Thursday league contest.
Harper became the 25th Bulldog to be inducted into the MEAC Hall, giving the Bulldogs the distinction of having the most league enshrinees.
One of the most productive defensive backs in Bulldog history, Harper earned All-MEAC honors in both 1986 and 1987 and was an Associated Press All-American in 1987 at SC State before being drafted in the 11th round of the 1988 college draft by Seattle. He went on to a solid 12-year NFL career with the Seahawks, San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions.
He was inducted into the SCSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 and named to the Bulldog Centennial (1907-2007) Football team in 2007.
In reflecting on his Bulldog career, the Orangeburg-Wilkinson graduate, said the interaction and lasting friendship with his Bulldog teammates were memories he continues to hold dear and that Thursday’s honor was special.
“Being inducted into the MEAC Hall of Fame is a great honor,” he said. “Being recognized as one of the outstanding players at SC State and in the conference is special. Both SC State and the MEAC provided me a great opportunity to play football and get a great education, and in the process, taught me about pride, the camaraderie of teammates, and that I could compete against the best in the world.”
Harper was supported at the enshrinement by family members, former teammates and SCSU administrators. Attendees in his honor included his wife Michelle Reed-Harper; parents, John and Jean Harper; his brother Deveron Harper, a standout athlete in his own right who presented his older brother; his sister Pamela Harper-Bowman and her husband Kenneth Bowman.
Also, former Bulldog players DL John Bates, DL John Alford, LB Darryl Corbin, WR Charlie Brown, RB Mike Summers, DB Ike Reese, current head football coach Buddy Pough, Bulldog athletics director Stacy Danley, NCAA faculty representative Dr. Matthew Guah, men’s head basketball coach Murray Garvin, SCSU Ticket Manager Carla Mitchell, SCSU Board Vice Chair Rodney Jenkins, and former O-W teammate James Moses, along with other SCSU administrators and others with Bulldog ties.
This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle.