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September 20, 2007
Harris thinks big for a freshman
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As the non-conference season rolls along to its final game against one of the worst offenses in Division I football, one might not fault the defense for having a relaxed attitude heading into Saturday's game against Florida International. Freshman cornerback Chris Harris might disagree with you.
"If they are down, we need to kick them in the throat," Harris said. "That's what we need to do for every team to get ready for the Big 12 season."
Harris has had no problem adapting to a defense that only allowed 77 yards against Toledo. Harris was recruited to Kansas a wide receiver, after Rell Lewis came on board, Harris was moved over to cornerback.
As fall camp progressed, the Bixby, Oklahoma native quickly impressed the coaching staff with his physical play and demeanor. While Harris's job as starting cornerback might be in jeopardy once Kendrick Harper returns from injury, Harris feels comfortable in Kansas's defensive system, and can't wait for Big 12 play to start.
"It feels like a regular football game," Harris said. "They said once you get in the big games, everything comes together, so I am ready for that."
Harris will get his chance against the Kansas State Wildcats on October 6th in Manhattan. The Jayhawks haven't won at KSU since 1989. Harris feels the excitement heading into the game.
"That game is going to be big, we are all anxious today to get our hard practices out of the way," Harris said. "We need to get a good mental aspect to beat FIU and then, its time to think about KSU."
In order for the Jayhawks to continue to succeed, Kansas will have to continue to rely on some of their true freshman continuing to develop.Harris doesn't see that as being a problem.
"All of the true freshman that are playing, our class is real close," Harris said. "When we came in we wanted to be the best class that has ever come through here."
This freshman class Mark Mangino not only credits with being the most athletic, but also the most football-savvy class he has brought to KU. Along with Dezmon Briscoe, Johnathan Wilson, Carmon Boyd-Anderson, Jake Laptad, Drew Dudley, and Justin Springer, Harris has big goals for the high school class of 2007 before they graduate.
"Me and Briscoe are trying to get freshman All-American," he said. "We all have our individual goals. But for our class, we are trying to win a Big 12 championship and put Kansas on the map. Go to some big bowl games and get some rings."