Colorado's Michael Harrison celebrates a score.
Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado's Unlikely Hero Is a Walk-On Tight End Whose Patience Paid Off

Michael Harrison was a little-known special teams player for his first three seasons at Colorado. Now, he's capitalizing on Prime Time.

During his first three years at Colorado, Michael Harrison was a little-known special teams player on a losing team. After last week's performance against Colorado State, however, the junior walk-on from San Francisco has his name on a shirt and an NIL deal.

Harrison has partnered with the Colorado NIL Store and Campus Ink to produce limited edition T-shirts that feature him striking a pose following his catches in the second overtime that sealed the Buffaloes' 43-41 victory over their cross-state rival.

After Travis Hunter left the game with an injury, quarterback Shedeur Sanders turned to Harrison. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound tight end caught seven passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns. His reception on a two-point conversion at the end of regulation sent the game into overtime. He then caught an 18-yard touchdown from Sanders to give the No. 19 Buffaloes the lead in the second overtime.

Fans can purchase either the T-shirt or long-sleeve version through Oct. 2. It features the Colorado logo and a graphic of Harrison's touchdown celebration with the phrase, 'Mikey Called Game.'

Harrison will earn between $6 and $15 on every sale. Not bad for a guy who didn't play at all during his true freshman season, was redshirted as a sophomore and caught just two passes for 12 yards last season. He's one of the few players left from the pre-Deion Sanders era who didn't transfer or get shipped out.

Sanders spoke highly of Harrison in a recent interview with CBS News Colorado.

"He has been consistent. He works his butt off and he's tough," Sanders said.

While Hunter's injury was certainly unfortunate, players like Harrison have the opportunity to step up and contribute. His performance against CSU is proof you don't have to be a big name to ink an NIL deal. One big moment or breakout performance can sometimes make a difference, especially on a team that is the talk of college football after a 3-0 start.

In Harrison's case, it definitely has.

MORE: Deion Sanders' 5 Kids Are Making Colorado the Center of College Sports