Gerald Harris -

Gerald Harris, a JUCO signee from Navarro College, is listed at 6-5, 240. Rebel Coach Houston Nutt believes he's closer to 6-7 and Harris said he's already at 255 pounds after only a month or so in Don Decker's weight program. Whoever is right about his height really doesn't matter - he's an imposing figure at either height. Read about him inside.

Gerald Harris knew coming out of high school in Terrell, TX, he had to mature, physically and mentally.

"Navarro was good for me. I needed junior college before jumping into a major university setting," said Harris, who will battle for the tight end spot this spring. "I needed to adjust to college in the classroom and when I came out of high school I was 6-4, 200 pounds. Obviously, I needed development.

"I got everything I wanted and more from junior college. I got about half of my college education, I got bigger and stronger, and I'm just more mature, more ready for a bigger university. I'm maturing very fast - it's even surprising me."

Harris was one of the players the old staff was recruiting when Houston Nutt took over the Rebel program. Houston was not recruiting Gerald to Arkansas, but after watching his film, getting to meet him face-to-face and understanding the need for more TEs on his squad, Nutt was sold.

"Gerald looked very good on film, but he looked even better in person. He's what an SEC tight end should look like," noted Nutt. "And after I met him, I could tell he was a class, character kid who had just scratched the surface of his potential."

Harris was already somewhat sold on Ole Miss, as a school, by the former staff. He was then sold on Nutt and his staff.

"I had a contact with (Graduate Assistant) Joel Rodriguez, who is still the offensive GA at Ole Miss. I told him I was still interested even though there was a new staff," Gerald recalls. "Ironically, I had visited Ole Miss the weekend of the Arkansas game and saw Coach Nutt's team and staff have a great game that day.

"I loved the surroundings on my visit, but I did not commit because I did not know what was going to happen here with the staff at the time. Coach Rodriguez got me in touch with Coach Nutt and here I am."

Gerald said he and Nutt hit it off very well.

"His interest in me was very sincere. He looked my parents in the eye and told them he would take care of me and I still had a scholarship even though he had just gotten here," Gerald noted. "That says a lot about someone. I knew right then he was the kind of coach I wanted to play for and someone I could trust. I still need some guidance and I know he will provide that for me. When someone looks you in the eye, you know it's sincere."

Harris feels he has adjusted well in the six weeks he's been at Ole Miss.

"From my viewpoint, I have some catching up to do. The JUCO experience matured me to the point of where I was ready to get ready for Division I life and football. I am in the getting ready phase," he explained. "I see the other players here are mature physically and are capable of handling university life and that's where I need to get.

"So far, I have adjusted fine. The pace is a lot faster than JUCO, but I'm getting used to it. I will be able to handle it."

Harris said the TE position being wide open was not really a factor in his decision.

"I had plans to start no matter where I went - Utah, UCONN, Miami or here," he stated. "That did not matter. It came down to the people and my education. It all came up Ole Miss."

Gerald believes he has shown he belongs in volunteer 7-on-7 work and in the weight room.

"I definitely feel like I belong athletically. I understand I have improvement to make in all areas, but I am already making strides," he continued. "Coach Decker wants me to be about 260-265 next year and I think that's a realistic goal. I also want to get to a 4.6 40.

"My goal is to keep my movement even at 265. I feel like I can manage that because my frame can hold my target weight of 265."

Spring will be a proving ground for Gerald.

"I am excited and a little nervous. I have not competed on this level yet. I'm not having any anxiety, but I am certainly excited to get it going and to keep preparing for spring practice," he said.

Gerald Harris feels he has found a home. Now, all that's left to do is earn a starting position on his chosen team.

"There will be plenty of competition out there for sure, but I think I am up to the challenge. I can tell from 7-on-7 drills I can get a spot and be a big help, but it's up to me to work hard and earn it." he closed.

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