Freshman DE Looking to Produce

Courtney Harris is working hard this spring to have a large role for the Canes in the 2006 season.

Courtney Harris graduated from Jupiter High School in 2005 after a standout prep career.

Harris chose UM over Florida, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State, and Michigan.

He arrived on campus at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. Less than a year later and he now weights 255 pounds.

"I have been gaining a lot of muscle," Harris said. "I have been eating good and the weight just came on."

Primarily as a right defensive end at 230 pounds Harris projected soley as a pass-rushing specialist. But now with the added weight and improve run-stopping ability he is developing into a solid all-around player.

"Entering the spring I wanted to improve on my run game and I am doing that real good," said Harris. "All the coaches feel good about it and so do I. I am happy about it."

Currently Harris is fifth on the depth amongst defensive ends behind seniors Baraka Atkins, Bryan Pata and sophomores Calais Campbell and Eric Moncur.

Despite being behind guys look for Harris to be a contributor on the 2006 Canes, who are expected to have a solid defensive line unit.

"We are getting great as a line," Harris said. "There is more technique and fundamentals being taught this year. Once you get more comfortable with fundamentals everything just flows more smooth."

The main reason there are more technique and fundamentals being taught is because of the two new coaches on the defensive line.

John Palermo primarily handles the defensive ends with Clint Hurtt in charge of the tackles.

"Coach Palermo is a great coach," Harris said. "He screams a lot and we get the message--that is all that counts. He is all about fundamentals and everybody needs fundamentals to play."

Last year was tough for Harris, who like all freshman have to adjust to the college game, college life, and the hardest part--redshirting.

"It was a learning year for me," Harris said. "A lot of the stuff I learned during my redshirt year I had never experience in high school."

Harris elaborated more on things he learned, "The way to fit within blocks, how the lineman operate, and what kind of looks I am going to get when the ball is coming to my side."

Harris and the defense are looking forward to returning to the practice field Tuesday after Saturday's scrimmage that "went good, but could have been better," according to Courtney.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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