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Miami Hurricanes CB Brandon Harris to enter NFL Draft

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by CoronaDoug, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    It was a painstaking decision. But University of Miami junior cornerback Brandon Harris made it nonetheless.
    Harris will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.

    ``I have decided I will declare for the draft this year in 2011,'' Harris, 20, said by phone Tuesday morning. ``It has been a very long season. It has been very draining.''

    Harris, projected by Mel Kiper Jr. and Scouts Inc. to be drafted 32nd -- the last pick in the first round -- did not specify the range of rounds in which the NFL's college-advisory committee projected he would be chosen. He said the committee told him ``some good things and what I wanted to hear. I'd rather not get into the particulars, but I felt I was in a good position.

    ``It was definitely a long process and you want to make sure you feel comfortable with what you're doing because this is a decision that will affect the rest of your life.''

    Harris said he thought it was the right time to make his move. A two-time Thorpe Award semifinalist, Harris earned first-team and second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He started 32 of his 39 games over three seasons, making 132 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four interceptions, five forced fumbles, two sacks and 28 pass breakups.

    In 2009 he was a third-team Associated Press All-American while ranking second in the nation in passes defended per game.

    ``As a family, we weighed the pros and cons of staying and leaving -- I just decided it was in my best interest to take this great opportunity I have in front of me and pursue my career at the next level.

    ``The overriding factor was being able to live out my dream. I've always wanted to play in the National Football League since I was a child. To be this close in the process, it was something I just couldn't turn down.''

    TALKING WITH GOLDEN

    Harris said he met with new UM coach Al Golden and his staff Monday afternoon to discuss his feelings. ``After speaking with them,'' he said ``everything else was history. That was it. I came to the conclusion it was a good decision. To see how supportive he and his staff were, they told me they'd continue to be there for me throughout the process.

    ``He's a very nice guy. We both handled it like men, and handled it like professionals. He's been in this kind of situation before, and it was not a huge surprise for him.''

    Harris also consulted with former UM coach Randy Shannon and told him ``how much the decision meant to me. He knew it was a huge decision for me. He never tried to sway me one way or the other because that's not the type of guy he is.''

    Harris said he was ``excited but also nervous. I'm spending a lot of time with my teammates and they're very excited for me. I'm nervous to be leaving them because I love them and know them so well.''

    • Harris' father Tim, known as ``Ice'' to the South Florida football community, said he was told by Golden he can remain on the staff as a community liaison. The former USA Today High School Coach of the Year said he would eventually like to get back into coaching.

    ``I'm going to stay here for now,'' the elder Harris said. ``But the goal for me eventually is to be in a position to coach.

    ``I'm going to try to wait my turn. But I like to develop young people, and I can't get that out of my blood.''

    • Eight outgoing UM players -- Allen Bailey, Matt Bosher, Damien Berry, Graig Cooper, Leonard Hankerson, Orlando Franklin, Colin McCarthy and DeMarcus Van **** -- were invited to the 2011 NFL Combine from Feb. 23 through March 1 in Indianapolis.

    The 2010 Miami senior class was composed of 15 seniors, not including Joel Figueroa, who is applying for a sixth year of eligibility.

    Harris also is expected to be invited to the combine.

    SENIOR BOWL INVITEES

    • Defensive end Bailey and wide receiver Hankerson have been invited to participate in the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl on Jan. 29 in Mobile.

    • New UM defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, who played at Fresno State and coached several years in the NFL with later stops at Southern Cal and Temple, said Monday during a teleconference that he was ``fired up'' for his new job.

    ``The main thing is we're constantly trying to develop [depth],'' he said. ``Our philosophy at Temple and most places I've been as the D-line coach is to play as many guys as you can to keep guys fresh. Obviously, the development of our depth is going to be crucial.''

    Miami Herald sports writer Manny Navarro contributed to this report.



    Read more: Miami Hurricanes CB Brandon Harris to enter NFL Draft - 01/05/2011 | MiamiHerald.com
     

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