The Longhorns' offense takes a big blow with the loss of Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley to the NFL, but the 2010 recruiting class delivers one of the best groups of high school receivers in years. One of the best in the class is four-star recruit John Harris from Naaman Forrest High School in Garland, Texas.
Harris played quarterback for the 2009 season, but had previously played receiver, his natural position. He passed for just 517 yards and three touchdowns but ran for 1,155 yards and 13 TDs. He joins fellow WR recruits Mike Davis (Skyline), Darius White (Dunbar), Chris Jones (Daingerfield) and Darius Terrell (DeSoto).
Burnt Orange Nation caught up with Harris to talk about his plans for the summer, why he chose Texas, where he envisions himself in the offense, and, of course his favorite cereal.
BON: You played quarterback in 2009, so how did that help you better understand the wide receiver position?
John Harris: I learned how to read coverages a lot better. I can kind of tell what the safeties are doing. Another thing I learned-you kind of want to catch the ball, because the quarterback takes a beating back there. It kind of hurts if you take a beating when throwing the ball. If they don't catch it, you have to get back up and do it again.
BON: How did playing QB help you develop relationships with your receivers?
JH: You have to be able to count on your receivers, and you have to count on the quarterback to get it to you. You might be in a position as the quarterback where you have to take that hit. It's the same way with the receiver when you have to go across the middle. You just have to put it in the right spot.
BON: School's almost out, so what are your plans for the summer to get ready for your freshman year in Austin?
JH: I've been working out with Coach Bullitt. I played football with his son, who's playing for Texas Tech. His other son plays for the Colts. I'm going down to Austin June 1. I'm taking one summer class. I don't know if I'm going to do second semester. Just going to go down there and work hard and try to get playing time. I think it playing quarterback this year helped me learn plays easier.
BON: Why did you choose Texas? Have you always wanted to play there?
JH: I watched Texas as a little kid. As I got older I always said I was going to play for them. When I finally got the opportunity, I just took it.
BON: What did the coaches talk to you about when they recruited you?
JH: I talked to Coach Kennedy most of the time. He's a real cool guy. He told me I was one of the receivers he wanted the most. He was real easy to get along with.
BON: What other schools recruited you?
JH: Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona and Texas A&M. My top three were Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Texas Tech was because I have a high school teammate that plays there. I had never been to Lubbock. There's not much out there, and I didn't want to go where there's nothing [to do].
BON: What's it like being part of such a great class of receivers? You guys are going to have a lot of competition the next few years. What's something special you can bring?
JH: We can pretty much all do the same stuff. Darius White is tall. Mike Davis can jump, and he's probably only about 6 feet tall. Chris Jones has the speed. Darius Terrell is big, about my size. What I think I can do best is go out there and outwork people. Coach Patterson used to work me to death, so I'm used to getting down and dirty.
BON: Have you gotten to know the other receivers in this class?
JH: Yeah, I know all of them. I'm rooming with Chris Jones when I go down to Austin in the summer. I talk to Mike every now and then.
BON: Would it be OK with you if you were redshirted this year?
JH: It would be OK if I was redshirted. I feel like if I was redshirted, I was redshirted because I'm not ready to be there yet. I just don't want to be redshirted because I didn't work hard enough.
BON: What are you most excited about for your college career at Texas?
JH: Just to play college football. A lot of people from high school don't get to do this. I'm just excited to play for them.
BON: What team are you most looking forward to playing against?
JH: I probably have three of them. I'd say Texas Tech, Oklahoma and UCLA. Texas Tech because my teammate plays safety. Jonathan Miller [former teammate] goes to Oklahoma. He's a second-string running back for them. And UCLA, I've always wanted to play them because I've seen them on TV.
The Harris Profile
High School: Naaman Forrest (Garland)
Favorite Longhorn of all time: Vince Young
Plans to Major In: Physical therapy
Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite Actor: Will Smith
Favorite TV Show: CSI
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Frosted Flakes