Eric Harper: In his own words

Little to nothing was known about Eric Harper from Marrero (La.) John Ehret HS except, that on paper and according to his coach, he was an exceptional athlete that did everything he was asked to do by his team and did it well. An all-metro selection in Louisiana, Eric Harper committed to Nebraska, site unseen. That was all that was known about Harper, until now.

Until this point, the only words about Eric Harper have been from his coach, Billy North, from Marrero (La.) John Ehret HS. Big Red Report finally got a chance to speak to commit #13 in the Nebraska recruiting class of 2007-08, and presents it to you, in his own words.

BRR: How has the summer been going for you?

Eric Harper: It's been going good. I have been working out. That's about it.

BRR: Is there anything specifically in your game that you wanted to work on?

BRR: My speed, mostly. I have just been running a lot of drills. I started to condition first and now I have been running a lot of 110s. I run about 15 of those a day.

BRR: Your head coach, Coach North, mentioned that you played seven or eight positions last year. I believe that Nebraska is bringing you in as a defensive end/linebacker. What you do you think that your strengths are playing those two positions?

Eric Harper: My speed mostly. It's my quickness and a lot of technique. I have really good hands. People try to get their hands on me and I can knock them down and go right past them.

I did a lot of bull-rushing last year. I didn't go up a lot of strong people. I bench press 375 and I squat 525, so I am strong. I was able to overpower offensive tackles off of the edge.

They tried to block me with a lot of pulls, a lot of pull blocking. I would just run through them, boom. I could do that here, but I don't think that I would be able to do that at Nebraska.

BRR: Did you take a visit to LSU or did you go to camp?

Eric Harper: I went to camp there. I went there with my workout partner. After camp, they had me and another guy run some drills. The other guy was about 5-foot-9 and 220-pounds. I am 6-foot-4 and 225-pounds. He was fast, he ran like a 4.4.

BRR: So, you never got your LSU offer?

Eric Harper: No, they said that they were going to go and talk about it. They said that they were going to get the paperwork, but I couldn't wait for that. I wanted to commit by the end of the summer. That's what I ended up doing.

BRR: Who else were you holding offers from when you decided to commit to Nebraska?

Eric Harper: I had offers from Auburn, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Tulane and Louisiana Tech.

BRR: Why did you decide on Nebraska?

Eric Harper: First of all my cousin, Barry Cryer, went to Nebraska. He's my second cousin. He used to come to the high school during the off-season to work out. He used to talk about Nebraska and how it compared to some schools. I just sat down and listened.

Another time that he came down, he had some stories to tell me about some drills they ran, I think that it was called the Oklahoma drill, and he had a recording of it. I watched it and I really liked it.

I want to take a visit, I am trying to get up there. I spoke to the coach about that. They are getting ready to start fall camp, Coach Buddy Wyatt said.

I also know that LSU has a bunch of linebackers coming back. At Nebraska, they told me that they have four or five linebackers leaving. I know that I have a better chance of playing. I also know that there is a need for depth along the defensive line.

I also get a chance to go up to Lincoln and take part in spring ball, I will be in Lincoln in January. I have a better chance to compete at Nebraska and potentially get some playing time.

BRR: Between Barry Cryer and Coach Wyatt, you seem to have heard enough about Nebraska to make a commitment.

Eric Harper: Right, right. I went on the Internet and just went to "Google". Google.com tells you all. You type in the name and it tells you everything that you want to know. The Internet is something serious, these days.

BRR: There were a bunch of questions about your eligibility this fall and being too old.

Eric Harper: Right. I started elementary school at a bit of an older age. I am 19 now and was ruled ineligible. I will still be going through school this fall.

BRR: What does it feel like to know that you were getting ready for your senior year and now it's been taken away from you?

Eric Harper: I feel really bad about it. I have worked hard to be where I am. I lost some credits and some time around Katrina. I went through summer school to get all caught back up.

BRR: What else about Nebraska are you looking forward to being part of?

Eric Harper: They are always in the hunt. They are always in it for the Big 12 Championship. That really caught my eye. At LSU, I don't know if I am going to see that.

BRR: So are you done with the process? Is Nebraska where you are going to go?

Eric Harper: Yeah, I just have to sign. I have been talking to Coach Bill Callahan about taking an early official visit to Nebraska. I have been trying to get to their first game. I have also been thinking about getting to a practice where they scrimmage in fall camp.


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