Sports

Quarterback Harris ready to lead both on and off the field

jacorysr

Focused in: Jacory Harris awaits the snap in a 52-7 victory over Charleston Southern in last year’s season opener. Harris won the ACC’s Rookie of the Week award three times in 2008. Steve Root // First Impression Staff

Everyone has something to motivate them in life. Some are inspired to have a dignified job and others dream of a perfect family. Many grind hard for both relatives and friends, while another group strives for a higher education.

Jacory Harris believes in all of the above, with one particular person motivating him every step of the way.

One of Harris’s best friends, James Anderson, was shot and killed during his sophomore year of high school. He and Anderson were best friends since the third grade and shared a strong bond that carried over on and off the field.

“He is truly my inspiration,” the former Parade All-American said. “He was always with me since day one. That is someone I [have]been playing for.”

Anderson’s tragedy and Harris’s father have shaped the 6’4”, 190-pounder into the person he is today. No one has made a bigger impact on Harris’s life than his father.

“My father is my idol,” the sophomore quarterback said. “He has shown me he is a strong man. Most people don’t grow up with a father, especially in the neighborhood we come from. Like Marcus Forston, he didn’t grow up with a father. I’m one of those lucky few.”

With the help and inspiration of his father, Harris learned how to play football at local parks. However, it wasn’t love at first sight for him.

“I hated football,” said Harris, laughing. “There was too much running. I use to cry a lot. I grew to love it. I use to play defensive end, offensive tackle, basically every position except quarterback.”

Even though he is now the field general at the U, was a perfect 30-0 and won a national championship at Northwestern High School in Miami, there is a soft spot in Harris’s heart for basketball. Whenever he gets a chance, he heads over to the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center to shoot some hoops.

But don’t expect to see “J12” get into any pick-up games as he would never do anything to jeopardize his football career.

“We share our love of basketball together,” head coach Randy Shannon said. “Jacory is kind of a funny guy, always happy-go-lucky. He is up-spirited and always upbeat. He is always positive.”

To Harris, all of his teammates are like his brothers, and he doesn’t neglect his loving parents.

His number one goal at Miami is to do well academically and get his degree, so he can one day become a sports agent. Harris also has aspirations of playing in the NFL after graduation.

On the field, No. 12 thrives, always appearing calm and collected. He helped produce two come-from-behind victories at Duke and Virginia and on the season threw 12 touchdowns, completed 60.8 percent of his passes and held a quarterback efficiency rating of 125.8.

“The atmosphere when you’re out there in the field, just knowing thousands of fans, millions of viewers are watching you and you’re just having fun, I love it,” he said.

His “go hard” Mohawk and play on the field are representative of this. The patterns in his hair have characteristics like those of a jaguar. Harris is calm, smooth and sleek.

“I just want to be remembered as that person, no matter on or off the field, who remains calm,” he said.

August 22, 2009

Reporters

Lelan LeDoux

Senior Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami coach Mark Richt apparently is a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt’s — or at leas ...

If there was one freshman the Miami Hurricanes knew would have to help entering the season, Brevin J ...

Not only has Gerald Willis been one of the best stories of the Miami Hurricanes’ season, he has also ...

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that global pressures are makin ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

Dr. Ralph Sacco, a top neurologist and researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medici ...

U.S. Congresswoman and Chairman Emerita of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtine ...

Nearly 400 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service da ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

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.