Major signing: Belgium’s Limburg Shotguns sign Jabari Harris as their new QB

The Limburg Shotguns continue to bolster an improving roster with the surprise signing of veteran quarterback Jabari Harris for the 2023 season.

The 30-year-old Jackson, Mississippi native has been a high-profile fixture in Finnish American football and one of the most successful quarterbacks in Finland’s Maple League since arriving to play for the Helsinki 69ers in 2015.

In 2022, he guided the Helsinki Wolverines to an 8-4 record and a Maple League semifinal appearance throwing for 2,048 yards and 26 touchdowns while rushing for 559 and another 15 scores.

The imported Helsinki Aerospace engineer had contemplated retirement before returning to play for the Wolverines this past season. In 2021, he finished off his second year with the Porvoo Butchers, taking them to the semifinals. The 6’2 225-pound also guided the Wolverines to the playoffs in 2019.

Since arriving in Europe, Harris has also played for the Bialystok Lowlanders in Poland (2016) helping them reach the semifinals that year. In 2017 and 2018 he was behind center for the Helsinki East City Giants.

The move to Belgium and the Shotguns will see Harris join former Maple League standout running back Jaycen Taylor, which was of course one of a number of factors in his decision to move his family to a new country:

“The key factor for me heading to Belgium was the opportunities on and off the football field that the organization helped me to put in place. The Shotguns and I had been in contact for almost a year, long before the 2022 Finnish Maple League started. In fact, I was nearly convinced to go in 2021 during the Shotgun’s championship season in Belgium but chose to stay settled in Finland for the summer. I have a good friend who had moved to Belgium and played for the Shotguns, Jaycen Taylor. He told me nothing but good things about the country itself and provided me great insight on what the football challenges and opportunities in Belgium would be. I also had two talented teammates this season with the Helsinki Wolverines in Martin Emos and Paul Minzeni are natives of Belgium.

After a video phone call earlier this autumn with Limburg President & GM Michel Eeman and head coach Emmanuel Lewis, I was able to express my on and off the field concerns for the relocation. We all shared the same goals and visions for building football in Belgium and the great things we can all do together in Shotguns. Coach Lewis expressed directly his desire to work with me and coach me in his offense next season. There was great interest from the organization and head coach to bring me in to help the team. Even months ago, when I was hospitalized and unsure about my playing, the team kept contact with me regularly and told me that if I’m healthy, I’m coming to Belgium! Coach Lewis said to Michel to ‘get it done’, and he did! All the chips fell into place, so I’ll be happily heading to Belgium and taking my family with me.

The Limburg Shotguns played in the new BNL (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) league in 2022 reaching the championship final where they lost to the Amsterdam Crusaders 38-26.

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