Junior wide receiver takes next step for football

Junior wide receiver takes next step for football

Junior wide receiver takes next step for football
October 22
23:35 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

When junior wide receiver Carlos Harris ran onto the field against the University of Southern Mississippi on Saturday, he noticed he only had one man covering him.

Harris took that as an insult, and proceeded to showcase why Southern Miss should have covered him more.

“Across the board they like to play man-to-man, which is very disrespectful,” Harris said. “As a receiver, it pretty much means that I am better than you and you can’t beat me down the field.”

Harris had 15 catches for 216 yards against Southern Miss, which were both career highs. It was the most yards a North Texas receiver has had since Casey Fitzgerald in 2008. Harris had a chip on his shoulder Saturday, and said he will continue to work hard.

“My dad always pushed me to work hard and keep at what I am doing,” Harris said. “There is always going to be someone out there that is going to be better than you, that is going to doubt you and say you can’t do something.”

Even though Harris had the talent growing up, his height raised flags. Harris is listed at 5 feet 8 inches, which is considered small for a receiver. However, he said he turns that into motivation.

“I was told in high school that I would never play Division-I college football, and that just pushed me to keep going and keep striving to bring a positive influence,” Harris said.

Harris said he even talks to kids about not giving up on their dreams and to push for things they want, because he feels he is a living example of how hard work will pay off.

“I am 5-foot-7. By no measures am I supposed to be a D-I athlete playing receiver. They measure me at 5-foot-9 in the paper,” Harris said. “That is a lie.”

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Junior wide receiver Carlos Harris jukes two Southern Mississippi University defenders during the game on Oct. 18. 

Coming out of Frisco High School, Harris didn’t get much attention from a lot of the colleges, but he did find a connection with North Texas and head coach Dan McCarney. At his first recruiting visit, McCarney sold him on the changing mindset of the team, which appealed to Harris. Once he got on campus, he fit right in, and one of the mentors he had was former receiver Brelan Chancellor.

“He gave me a lot of confidence and told me to always play with a chip on my shoulder,” Harris said. “That is what I continue to do.”

Since Chancellor left, the two have kept in contact and he still gives Harris some motivation today.

“He keeps me positive and keeps me motivated,” Harris said. “I feel like it is my job to step up and fill that role that he left, and I continue to do my best every day.”

McCarney said he loves Harris’ style of playing hard and never quitting.

“Wow, was that not fun just to watch him play the game?” McCarney said. “Too small, too short, too little, over 200 yards in receptions. We need more guys to play with that heart, intensity and tenacity.”

Harris’ quarterback in the game against USM was junior Andrew McNulty. McNulty said he and Harris connected well on Saturday.

“I thought he was a very talented receiver. He is a smart guy as far as learning the offense, knowing what we are trying to do with the football. He is really good at getting open and we’ve really meshed ever since we both came together here,” McNulty said.

McNulty said he notices that Harris is on a mission every time he hits the field.

“He goes out there every single day to prove somebody wrong and it really motivates me, and it motivates the other guys around him to strive and push to achieve our goal of winning on Saturday,” McNulty said.

While Harris does set out to prove his doubters wrong, he said his goal is about helping his team get the victory.

“My stats will come along with it by just playing and just getting the wins,” Harris said. “Last year’s feeling was great, coming from my first year where we went 4-8 to being bowl champions is something that I want to continue. It needs to be a tradition here.”

Featured Image: Junior wide receiver Carlos Harris evades a Southern Miss defender while sprinting toward the endzone during the game on Oct. 18. Photos by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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