BERKELEY -- For two years, California wide receiver Maurice Harris was in the shadows of his two older cousins – third-round NFL Draft pick Keenan Allen and quarterback Zach Maynard.
It took just two games for the redshirt sophomore to emerge as his own man, and he did it in a big way – beating Allen to the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 with his one-handed touchdown grab last Saturday against Portland State – a catch, he said, he hasn't even seen on television, yet.
"I just want to give a special shout-out to the linemen for blocking for the quarterback to be able to give me the opportunity to catch it," Harris said. "We were on the goal line, and I had a crossing route, so I was just thinking, ‘Be patient, be patient,' and I got through, and once I got through, I just looked up and my eyes got big. I tried to reach up with two [hands], but kept rising, so I just threw my hand up and it just kind of stuck to my hand. It kind of shocked me. I just had to make sure I came down with the ball and hold it tight."
As Harris came down, he said, he hurt his shoulder, but as soon as he got up, he was in shock.
Harris had dealt with a fractured finger on his left hand for almost all of fall camp. Luckily for him and the Bears, he didn't just sit out; He continued to practice, catching balls one-handed. All of that practice, it would seem, paid off.
"It was my good hand," Harris said. "Hopefully, I can get one with the left."
Harris was far from shy when speaking with Allen following the catch.
"He texted me, saying, ‘How did you do that?' I told him I would teach him one day," Harris smiled.
Allen's text, of course, wasn't the only missive he got following his big grab.
"A lot of friends back home texted me saying, ‘Hey, I've seen you on television!'" Harris said. "I was like, ‘Yeah, man, that's something crazy.'"
The Student Has Become the Master
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