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Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by dbair1967, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    with the 05 draft in mind...

    Defensive tackle Harris among 'Cane greats

    By WENDELL BARNHOUSE

    Fort Worth Star-Telegram


    Miami has some impressive position tradition.

    Quarterback (Jim Kelly, Vinny Testaverde, Bernie Kosar), running back (Ottis Anderson, Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis), receivers (Michael Irvin, Kellen Winslow, Andre Johnson).

    Junior Orien Harris is perfectly comfortable in becoming the Hurricanes' next great defensive tackle. He appears ready to follow the likes of Russell Maryland, Warren Sapp and Cortez Kennedy.

    "It's not a burden, it's more of an honor," said Harris, whose older brother Kwame played offensive tackle at Stanford. "It's a tradition at Miami to have great defensive linemen. To have an opportunity to play there is really special."

    Harris' play last season was special. Working alongside first-round draft pick Vince Woolfork, Harris had 39 tackles and four sacks. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Harris combines size with outstanding quickness to be a force on the Hurricanes' line.

    In some defensive schemes, the defensive tackles merely try to occupy opposing blockers so that linebackers are free to make the tackle. At Miami, though, the defensive tackles are free to rush past blockers to reach the ball carrier or the quarterback.

    "Our coaches give us an opportunity to make plays," said Harris, who is on the watch list for the 2004 Outland Trophy. "We have some big guys who are athletes. It would be kinda hard if we were just holding up blockers, it wouldn't let us display our talents. We've got some great schemes."

    Harris and his defensive teammates will receive an early opportunity to test those schemes when Miami plays host to Florida State to open the season Sept. 6. With the Hurricanes joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, the game takes on new meaning.

    "Florida State has been ruling the ACC," Harris said. "We're just the new kids on the block in the ACC. We haven't played anybody in the ACC yet, so I can't tell you who the team to beat is.

    "Florida State is a great rivalry. It's a conference game now. The challenge is still there.

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