Last year Orien Harris recorded 55 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 8 quarterback hurries, and 1.5 sacks in 12 games.
This year he is looking to improve on those numbers and is ready for a breakout season. He was expected to have a very productive season in 2004, but he did not put up the numbers and pressure that he wanted to.
Harris is one of the leaders on the team and will be counted on to lead the defensive line unit, which returns all four starters from a year ago.
Senior Thomas Carroll joins junior Bryan Pata as the team's starting defensive ends. Baraka Atkins, a junior, has moved inside and will play next to Harris.
"We are all experienced and we know what we have to do out there," Harris said. "We have been working hard in the off-season and we want to carry it over into spring practices."
Those four players combined for 17.5 sacks--a number they want to improve on.
Yesterday was the first day of spring practices and according to Harris everything went just fine.
"It was good to get back out here," Harris said. "Everyone is moving around well and working hard. I am just trying to get back on the field."
Harris is one of 16 seniors on the team and with the 2004 class preparing for the NFL Draft it is not a big difference with them gone.
"It's not really that different being in the oldest group of guys because we were the older ones last year too," Harris said. "We are just trying to take it one day at a time and not be complacent with where we are at."
With 22 career starts, Harris ranks third on the team. Only cornerback Kelly Jennings (28)and Atkins (23) have more starts.
There are 15 spring practices, which will conclude on April 9 with the annual spring game. Harris will use this time to improve on his game.
"I want to improve on everything," Harris said. "I just want to improve my overall game and I can't try to do too much--I have to focus on the little things."
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com
Harris Leads Defensive Line
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