Sports

Harris takes advantage of opportunities at UM

The Hurricanes’ defensive line has been a pleasant surprise this season. A large portion of the credit for that should go to Orien Harris.

Harris, a sophomore from Newark, DE, was inserted into the lineup last season after Santonio Thomas was injured. He recorded 36 tackles and one sack last year, and put himself in a position to earn even more playing time this season.

“My goal coming into this season was just to play a lot,” Harris said. “I never really thought I would be in the position I am in right now, but I just felt if I played hard and stayed positive, good things would happen.”

Harris’s experience in football comes from his family. His brother, Kwame, was the first round pick of the San Francisco 49ers out of Stanford last season. Harris also has a younger sister in high school. His dad owns a restaurant in Delaware, and his mom is a nurse.

Harris’s family helps motivate him on the field and has taught him a great deal about life.

“My motivation comes from my family who taught me to work really hard,” Harris said. “But mostly, it comes from myself because I go out there and give it my all every time.”

Harris came to UM as the top-rated defensive line prospect in the country by The Football News. However, making the adjustment to collegiate football is difficult. After a red shirt year, Harris started to improve. This season, he has made significant strides in becoming a better all-around player.

“Orien has excelled and really come a long way, he has become a student of the game, and is light years from where he was at the beginning of last season,” Defensive Line Coach Greg Mark said.

However, Harris still feels like he has room to improve and needs to learn more in order to become a better player.

“I think I have a long way to go before I consider myself good,” Harris said. “When I was a little kid I used to watch all the Hurricane games and I always wanted to play [for UM].”

On and off the field, Harris seems to have the same personality. He works hard, but loves to joke around and always has fun playing the game.

“I’m a hard-working, positive guy,” Harris said. “I just try to have a lot of fun out on the field with my teammates and it makes playing the game really easy.”

Harris has all the qualities that a coach loves to see in a player. He has passion, fire, and is determined to make plays to help his team win games.

“On the field, he is competitive, fierce, and he never wants to lose, and that is the type of kid you can win games with,” Mark said. “He is not comfortable with just being average, he wants to be the best at what he is doing.”

Even in practice, Harris shows his competitiveness and desire to succeed. His hard work has translated into success on the field, and has helped make the ‘Canes’ defensive line one of the best in the nation.

“He wants to win every rep when he gets in there and that is what leaders are created from,” Mark said. “In the years to come, he will become a leader and people will follow him because he has that type of personality and desire.”

Overall, Harris wants to keep getting better and enjoy his time at UM. A national title wouldn’t hurt either.

“I get along with people really well, and I am really happy to be playing here,” Harris said. “I am really happy that I am at the University of Miami.”

October 17, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

At their best, they are UM’s most dynamic players on each side of the ball. But the Ahmmon Richards ...

A day after practicing in the Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility for the first time in s ...

It appears that at least one LSU receiver won’t be available at the University of Miami football ope ...

After the Miami Hurricanes football team spent part of its practice on Monday in a torrential downpo ...

Nothing like a comic book cover on steroids to get University of Miami and LSU football fans juiced ...

Intergroup Dialogue, soon to be offered as a course, fosters a sense of belonging, an appreciation f ...

Aretha Franklin and her music defined “what is soul” to generations of music lovers. ...

The University of Miami kicked into high gear to welcome thousands of new students and ensure move-i ...

UM President Julio Frenk welcomes first-year and transfer students to UM in signature ’Cane Kickoff ...

Miami Law conducts its inaugural Legal Impact Hack for first-year students. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team won its exhibition match over FIU, 3-0, Saturday at the Knig ...

Coming off a road win in its season opener, the University of Miami soccer team will welcome crossto ...

In head coach Sarah Barnes' debut at the helm, the University of Miami soccer team won its seas ...

The Hurricanes practiced in the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility for the first time ever on Fri ...

Malik Rosier, Travis Homer and Ahmmon Richards are key returning playmakers, but they are just the b ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.