Harris Ready for First Bulldog Action

Grant Harris signed on with Mississippi State as the final member of his signing class. The robust defensive lineman hoped to play defensive end, but was projected by most to slide inside and man a defensive tackle spot. With a redshirt year under his belt, Harris is still taking his practice reps defending the Bulldog edge.

"I'm still at defensive end," Harris said with a grin. "We're kind of deep at defensive end, but we're all working hard to get better. Coach (David) Turner is pushing all of us to get ready for the September 5th game (Southern Miss).

"Coach Turner has been working me at both weak side and on the strong side. He's been working me a little more on the right side. I have been getting some extra work over there, because that's my weak side. I want to be good at both sides, so I am working hard to get everything down."

Last fall Harris entered camp expecting to redshirt. This calendar year, the talented freshman has participated in every drill with the expectation of being on the field this fall.

"It's been pretty good," Harris said. "You just have to focus on the main things, because you already know all of the plays. Now it's really about trying to get your technique down.

"I know that I have to work even harder from here on out. It's one of those things where if you are going to sit on it, you have to go stand on it now. Things have slowed down a lot more me as I have learned the schemes and all of that."

The 2014 signing class brought in a talented group of defensive lineman including Cory Thomas and Braxton Hoyett along with Harris. The classmates have really built a bond in their time on campus.

"We are all three really close," Harris said. "We feel like we need to stay together, because we came in together. One day, we are going to have to lead the group, so we want to have a great relationship."

It has been widely reported that junior defensive ends A.J. Jefferson and Ryan Brown have emerged as the leaders in David Turner's meeting room. Harris reports that the pair have been great mentors to him during the early stages of his college development.

"A.J. has been a great leader for me," Harris said. "He works hard and he is a great leader for the team. Ryan Brown has sort of been like an older brother to me. He worked hard with me this summer to help me get better. I have learned a lot from both of those guys."

The defensive unit will have to place some quality players that have moved on the NFL this fall. Harris reports that there is a talented group of reinforcements ready to take things to the next level.

"I think we can be even better than we were last year," Harris explained. "We have the #1 quarterback (Dak Prescott) and our defense is going to be solid. There haven't been a lot of changes in a lot of the things we do with Coach (Manny) Diaz, but I think we're going to be a lot more aggressive.

"I think the way Coach Diaz does things and uses everybody on the field that we're going to be ever better than we were last year. I am excited about the season and ready to get out there on the field."

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