Harris is a member of Buckeye Legends, a collection of former OSU athletes (see link below). Stay tuned for future Chat events with members of Buckeye Legends.
Here is a transcript of the Chat with Raymont Harris:
runwild (Jul 19, 2006 9:52:14 AM)
Raymont what are you doing with yourself these days?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 9:53:04 AM)
I'm a home mortgage consultant with Chase. I live in New Albany. I coach my son's baseball team and try and get out play golf as much as I can.
DoctorSJ (Jul 19, 2006 9:53:23 AM)
With a veteran back like Pittman - how do you think he is feeling coming into this season as a known player and not having to "prove" himself? ALso how do you think Chris Wells' presence is going to affect him and lastly - how much do you think Chris Wells plays this year?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 9:54:13 AM)
I think Pittman is thinking, coming off the success last year where he emerged, he's on top of the world right now. Even though there has been much hype surrounding Chris Wells, Pittman can't help but look over his shoulder. I'm sure the coaching staff has assured him he's the starter ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 9:55:03 AM)
But it will be interesting to see how the season goes. If he twists his ankle or fumbles and something negative happens and Wells goes in and has success, that can cause friction. Even though they're both from Akron and Pitt is a mentor, you can't help but have that rivalry.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 9:56:03 AM)
As for Wells, if it was me, I wouldn't epect to see that much of him. I'm of the idea you have a starter and you ride him. If something happens or he is tired, then Chris Wells or whoever is No. 2 should be in the game. I am of the mind-set you go with the starter and let him get into a groove and do his job.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 9:56:29 AM)
We're always fascinated by the new person, but we can't forget how impressive Pittman is and how well he's done he's really good.
kbbuckfan (Jul 19, 2006 9:56:39 AM)
What is your most memorable moment from your playing days at OSU?
DoctorSJ (Jul 19, 2006 9:56:45 AM)
What game and/or moment sticks out as your best moment in a Buckeye uniform?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 9:58:07 AM)
My most memorable moment I have 2 of them. No. 1 is 1992, my junior year, Eddie George's freshman year and he fumbled twice. The crowd booed him and he walked off the field and he was hanging his head. The fans were telling him he sucked, go back to PA. That told me so much more about not only Ohio State and football but also life. That's what life is right there ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 9:58:51 AM)
My best football moment, probably home with Michigan State as a senior, won the game toward end with a TD, kind of put me in the zone, everything started slowing down for me.
kbbuckfan (Jul 19, 2006 9:59:09 AM)
How do you feel about the team this year...?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:00:39 AM)
I think they're going to be really good. I think this will be the first year that Jim Tressel will have to rely on the offense as opposed to the defense and special teams. There is so much firepower. If he allows Troy to be the player he is and they spread that ball around to Tony Gonzalez and Roy Hall, there is no reason why this offense can't be one of the most expolsive in the countrt. I am concerned about the secondary. They lose some guys. I am curious to see how they play this year.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:00:11 AM)
Raymont, talk about your big 1,000-yard season with the Chicago Bears in 1997.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:01:05 AM)
Yeah, that was a great time with the Bears ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:01:36 AM)
We started off on a great foot playing the defending SB champion Packetrs. I had a 68-yard TD run. Next game, against the Vikings I had a 58-yard run.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:02:09 AM)
After the first two weeks of the 97 season, the top 3 rushers were Eddie George, Robert Smith and then me.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:02:24 AM)
Ha! Gotta love that!
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:03:02 AM)
We started off the season with great games. I led the whole league in yards per carry. They were cracking jokes on me. That season started on a great note. But my team was really bad. It seems like my timing was horrible. If I was on a good team, they may have wanted to renegotiate my deal right there.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:03:45 AM)
I was really playing up to my potential, unfortunately got hrt and missed the last 3 games. I should have had 1400 or 1500 yards. Alternate from Pro Bowl and All-Madden team. I was proud of what I was able to accomplish.
Buckeye4u (Jul 19, 2006 10:01:34 AM)
If you had any advice for Pittman and Twin Wells, what would it be?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:04:12 AM)
As for Pittman and Wells advice for them ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:04:51 AM)
Pittman has been through the grind already. He knows what to expect. The good thing is Wells is there and he can't be complacent. He has to work as hard as he did last year. He has to try and go past and beyond where he's been. ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:06:10 AM)
Chris Wells my advice would be to listen and learn from Antonio Pittman and the other guys around you. There is a tendency to come out of HS and think you know everything when you don't know that much. For him, he has to be patient. In practice, he should be the absolute best player in practice. He should be first in sprints and drills. He should be running guys over and making guys respect and force the coaches to put him in the game ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:06:20 AM)
When Pittman sees that, it forces him to do the same thing.
JimC (Jul 19, 2006 10:06:25 AM)
Any good stories from your playing days with the Bucks? How about some Coach stories?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:08:57 AM)
Coach Cooper, I understood him. He was a good coach. He was a great recruiter. I understood my place with him and my team. It irks me that people looked back at our years and say he recruited renegades and bad guys and we didn't go to school. That wasn't the case. Like it is now, you always have a segment of the team that's going to get in trouble. Really it's a microcosm of life. When that happens the entire program gets the evil eye. The one thing he always said was he coached the coaches and the coaches coached us. Probably should have been a little more closeness between Coach and the players.
Buck I Fan (Jul 19, 2006 10:09:22 AM)
What do you think about the new website Buckeye Legends
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:11:06 AM)
About Buckeye Legends, I respect Jim Karsatos and respect the idea that's behind Buckeye Legends in terms of allowing former Buckeye players to network and stay visible in the community. There's a soft spot in my heart for charitable work as well. It makes sense for me and the other players that share those kinds of priorities to be involved. I know we have a charity golf outing on Aug. 25. Check the site at BuckeyeLegends.com for more details on that.
ToledoBucknutty (Jul 19, 2006 10:09:25 AM)
Good afternoon Raymont....Ahhhh the good ol' days....when I could visit my boys at OSU and see you walking around with Alonzo......wow time flies.....anyway, I loved watching you play!! What is going on with you these days?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:12:12 AM)
Toledo, those were good times. My first couple years, Alonzo was my best friends. We were roommates. He went to the NFL early. When he left, my best friend was Chico Nelson and this young guy came to our school and he was like a little brother I forget his name, what was it ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:12:38 AM)
Oh, yeah, Eddie George. His name escapes me sometimes. You hardly ever hear anything about him (ha ha).
MacAuley (Jul 19, 2006 10:12:57 AM)
Hi raymont - thanks so much for sharing your time with us today. What was the most important "non-football" asset you received from your time at Oho St? If you were advising a kid to look seriously at ohio St, what "non-football" related point would you want to be sure he understood?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:14:23 AM)
People don't realize how hard it is to go to a major college university and also play sports and football that dominates your time. To be a student and excel in that area and avoid the pitfalls that come with that position, it's not an easy thing to navigate ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:15:35 AM)
My advice to anyone in that position would be to take advantage of the time you're there and not totally submerge yourself in all football activities. The key to being successful is being well rounded. You have to apply yourself academically. You have to meet people and be open to learning as much as you can about things you don't know about. When you're able to do that, you
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:15:49 AM)
You are well rounded and you have choices. That is important.
capitalbuck (Jul 19, 2006 10:16:01 AM)
Mr. Harris; Thanks for your great years for OSU! Do you see this year's Buckeye team outscoring the firepower put out in the mid to late 1990s?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:17:37 AM)
It will be tough to match those teams, not because of talent. They have the talent. I think today's QB is better than the QBs then. The RB is in the same peer group. He's not Eddie, but he's in there with Mike Wiley. The receivers they have not shown yet what they're capable of because Holmes was the go-to guy. They haven't shown they can run routes and be difference makers like the guys like Glenn and Boston. ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:18:29 AM)
Ginn is a difference maker and they can be. They may be limited by the offense. I don't think that Jim Tressel and Jim Bollman call plays the way Walt Harris called plays. They'll be just as explosive, but it may not be something we can tell through stats. I hope I'm wrong.
Buck I Fan (Jul 19, 2006 10:18:33 AM)
Have you been to Eddie's new restaurant
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:19:39 AM)
I've been there a couple of times. It's cool to have that kind of restaurant in Cols. I've been to places like that in Miami and NY and Cali and LA but not here. Now that's it here and situated on campus, I think it's cool to be here. They have great crispy shrimp. Get the shrimp.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:19:45 AM)
(Let me preface this next question by saying... Raymont's first season at OSU was 1989 -- Cooper's second year. Storm redshirted that first year.)
Buckeye4u (Jul 19, 2006 10:19:48 AM)
did you get into last year of Earle Bruce? If so, what was difference between Earle and John Cooper? If not, what is your opinion on JT's coaching style in comparison to JC?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:21:41 AM)
I don't really know what's going on with Tressel's staff because I'm not at practice regularly. He seems more hands on because he's calling plays. He seems to be more visible and interactive with the players. JC was more of a spokesman for the team. The difference is Tressel appears more hands on and beyond that it would probably be unfair to comment because I don't really know JT.
ToledoBucknutty (Jul 19, 2006 10:21:48 AM)
Haha.....yeah......Who's Eddie? So you missed the second part of that though. What is Raymont up to these days? Thanks for being here by the way, thanks for being a BUCKEYE, and thanks Steve as always for the best site ever!
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:22:14 AM)
We talked about that earlier. I work for Chase Bank as a residential lender.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:22:55 AM)
Raymont, was it tough being second string until you got your crack as a starter in '93?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:25:23 AM)
It was really tough because deep down I knew I was just as good or better than Carlos Snow in 1991 and just as good as Robert Smith at that time. We were all effective in different ways. Sitting there, like on the sidelines, watching this other guy do the things he does well and you know you can do and in some ways do them better, that was tough as an 18- 19- 20-year-old man. That's what I talk about with character and perseverance. You learn a lot about yourself when you're in that spot. Places like Ohio State chew kids up and spit them out. They just keep moving. That's hard to deal with as one of the people who are affected by that.
Capital Buck (Jul 19, 2006 10:25:29 AM)
Mr. Harris; Please try to explain to us what it is like to come out of the tunnel onto the field at Ohio Stadium.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:26:56 AM)
I would make the analogy, think back to when you're a little kid when times were pure and genuine and it would be Christmas morning and you're in your room and the feeling you have when you wake up, getting out of bed, "Oh my God Santa came last night." I don't know what I'm going to see ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:27:18 AM)
That's the feeling of coming through the tunnel. When you walk into the light, you know you're going to experience something ....
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:27:58 AM)
You open that door and see the bike and the fire truck, just the joy and excitement is very similar to that excitement of coming out of the tunnel and hearing people scream and seeing the other team. It gets me pumped up thinking about it.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:28:27 AM)
There are ceratin things that happen in your life that you remember. You remember coming out of the tunnel playing college football.
Buck I Fan (Jul 19, 2006 10:28:39 AM)
What other schools were you recruited by in high school
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:30:46 AM)
Michigan, Georgia, Miami (Fla.), UCLA, all the Big Ten schools. Bo had me for a visit, It was my first visit. I flew to Michigan. I flew to Cols. from Cleveland. The Michigan trip was my first ever. I was a huge football fan. Just imagine being a big fan like that and then going to Michigan and seeing Bo Schembechler and him putting his arm around you and saying, "I've watched you a lot. I think you're awesome. I want you to be the next big guy." ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:32:40 AM)
How do you turn that down? How do you say no thanks. I said "Hell, yeah. I'm there." But then you get done with the euphoria and step away and you put it all together. I had a good rapport with the guys at OSU. Scottie Graham was my host. The guys at OSU were different. They were hungry. It fit my personality more. They were ambitious. It was a big city that diversity. It just fit my personality more. I felt more comfortable here than going to Ann Arbor or Georgia or Bloomington, Ind. This was the place for me.
kbbuckfan (Jul 19, 2006 10:32:44 AM)
You mentioned that you have a soft spot for charity.....Any particular charities you support that are dear to your heart?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:34:31 AM)
On a personal level, I've had many family members afflicted with cancer and diabetes. Those things are near and dear to my heart. Organizations like YMCA and Big Brothers and Big Sisters that provide for underprivileged youth. That hits home. That was me. Over the years, I've put a lot of time and effort into providing and helping people in those positions. Those things mean a lot.
MacAuley (Jul 19, 2006 10:34:37 AM)
Raymont - who was the best tackler that you remeber playing against? The hardest hitter?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:35:59 AM)
The hardest hitter was maybe Greg Lloyd from the Steelers. He was the one. He was crazy. During those times, he was considered the meanest and craziest guy in football. He was mean. He lived up to the clippings. He was pretty crazy. ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:36:19 AM)
The dirtiest player was Bill Romanowski. To this day, I despise that guy.
Guest (Jul 19, 2006 10:36:31 AM)
Mr. Harris; sorry to ask this, but if you had the chance to speak with Mo Clarett, could you provide him with some guidance. What is your opinion on players like him with "all world" talent, who make foolish choices like he did. Thanks.
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:36:43 AM)
Capital Buck asks about Mo Clarett ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:37:22 AM)
He's part of our football family. If I can get on a soap box, I hate the way he is depoicted. He's been accused of some things that are senseless. If proven true, the law should handle it the proper way ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:40:08 AM)
What I would advise him to do, I've never seen someone fall from grace as quickly and as hard as he has. My suggestion is it sounds like he still has a pretty good relationship with JT. He should maybe come clean about everything, go back to Ohio State, ingratiate himself with the program. People make mistakes, but we also forgive people who man up. I don't see his story turning out to be a positive one unless he's able to build a relationship with Ohio State again. He's got to finish school. OSU is a great place to get that done. There is no reason why he couldn't transform himself into someone that is an asset to the university vs. the idea that he is now.
Buckeye4u (Jul 19, 2006 10:40:37 AM)
Who was your favorite Buckeye player while growing up?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:41:40 AM)
Probably Jack Tatum, the assassin. He was all business and I loved that. I loved guys who were all about business. No need to put on a facade and be a nice guy. No, he was there for straight business. He'd knock your head off. I loved Jack Tatum.
CapitalBuck (Jul 19, 2006 10:41:49 AM)
Mr. Harris; what is your opinion on paying NCAA student athletes? Is this a good or bad idea?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:43:37 AM)
Absolutely. Put that in bold and capital letters please. There is no reason why the players and the student-athletes should not share in the gains that come from major college football. I don't understand how that's not been in place already. The athletic directors and coaches make so much money. The coaches make $2 million a year. Is that not crazy to anybody else but me? The assistants, the good ones, make $250K a year. They get company cars and Nike contracts and all of this stuff. ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:44:11 AM)
And you have guys on the team who can barely make it on a monthly basis. That's crazy. There's no question they should be compensated for what they do. As much moiney as they generate, that's crazy.
Buck I Fan (Jul 19, 2006 10:44:28 AM)
Was there ever a moment when you thought, this is too tough I can't do it anymore? What allowed you to get through it?
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:46:32 AM)
I never felt like I couldn't do it. I always felt like there were outside sources that were keeping me from doing what I wanted to do. That's kind of tricky. It's very much like how close it is between arrogance and confidence. But I never thought it was me. I always had the ultimate belief that when it came to getting something done I could do it. I was able to draw from history. It's happened to me before. ...
RaymontHarris (Jul 19, 2006 10:47:04 AM)
I was able to draw on my experience of poverty, from a small steel city, when you have those experiences. It makes it more likely to persevere.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:49:13 AM)
Guys, it has been one hour. We thank Raymont immensely for sharing his insights, memories and opinions. Some great stuff and some great questions from all of you!!
Buckeye4u (Jul 19, 2006 10:49:42 AM)
Thanks for your time! Go buckeyes!! It's great to see you again once more!!
CapitalBuck (Jul 19, 2006 10:49:51 AM)
Thanks Mr. Harris and Mr. Helwagen
kbbuckfan (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:11 AM)
Buckeye4u (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:15 AM)
BTW, I had a great memory of your ol' Buckeye days. Thank you for it!
ToledoBucknutty (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:30 AM)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:34 AM)
Gary H. will Chat Thursday and I will be in on Friday. Let everybody know how much fun this was. Stay tuned for details in a couple of weeks for our next Buckeye Legends event!
MacAuley (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:36 AM)
Thanks Raymont!! O - H !!!
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:47 AM)
3 2 1
ToledoBucknutty (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:53 AM)
I - O!!!
Buckeye4u (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:54 AM)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:50:56 AM)
There it was
ToledoBucknutty (Jul 19, 2006 10:51:04 AM)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 19, 2006 10:51:06 AM)
Great showing, guys!!
ToledoBucknutty (Jul 19, 2006 10:51:09 AM)
MacAuley (Jul 19, 2006 10:51:22 AM)
Darn fine job Steve.
kbbuckfan (Jul 19, 2006 10:51:34 AM)
If you have thoughts on which Legend you would like to hear from, submit a contact form to BuckeyeLegends.com and they will tryr to coordinate with Bucknuts to get that person in this chat room.
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Below is the link for BuckeyeLegends.com. As noted in the Chat, the Legends are planning a golf outing for Aug. 25 at the Clover Valley Golf Club.
For more details, click the link below for the Buckeye Legends web site.