Spring 2021 Magazine

Wide receiver N'Keal Harry thanks God, is 'ready to get to work' for New England Patriots

Early Thursday afternoon, before an evening that would set the direction of his life, former Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry turned to Twitter and publicly vowed to “put my trust in God and do everything in my power to glorify His name.”

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By the end of the evening, he was a member of the New England Patriots. With the 32nd and final pick of the 2019 NFL Draft’s first round, the defending Super Bowl champions chose the 6-foot-2, 228-pound receiver, who says he is a follower of Christ. It marks the first time Patriots coach Bill Belichick has ever drafted a receiver in the opening round during his 20 years with New England.

Harry was one of just two wide receivers selected during Thursday night’s first round, as Oklahoma wideout Marquise Brown went to Baltimore at No. 24. Had Harry not gone to New England, many expected him to be selected by his hometown Arizona Cardinals with the first pick of the second round (the draft resumes with rounds 2-3 Friday, and rounds 4-7 Saturday).

“I was honestly starting to think maybe I had to start getting ready for Day 2,” Harry said during his introductory conference call with the media. “So, when I got that call, I tried not to be emotional, but I couldn’t really hold it back at that point. I just felt so blessed, I was so thankful for the Patriots organization. I was just thanking God and I’m just ready to get to work.”

Born in Toronto, Harry moved as a baby to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a small nation in the Caribbean. He says he will be the first NFL player from that island. When he was almost 4 years old, his grandmother, Felna Harry, moved with him to Phoenix with the blessing of N’Keal’s mother, who is Felna’s daughter. He developed into a local football and basketball star who once shattered a backboard, and chose to stay home and attend Arizona State for three years prior to entering the draft.

“I’ve been extremely blessed with the people that have been around me, with the company that has been around me,” Harry said on the conference call. “I feel like I was blessed with people that have the same mindset as me, people that want to improve, people that want to learn, people that want to grow. So, you know, God has really blessed me throughout the years.”

Now he’ll join a team that is thin at receiver but coming off the sixth championship in its history. Harry will get to catch passes from the winningest quarterback in NFL history, who greeted Harry on Friday morning:

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