While competing in the Florida High School Weightlifting Championships last April, Harris benched 370, while weighing in at only 211 for the event. He told me that he presently has a 500 pound squat. He mixes jogging and sprints to keep in as good as shape as possible.
Harris may need the additional stamina to sift through the inquiries and letters of intent. He is accumulating interest like Terry Bradshaw at a Hair Club for Men convention. His next logical step would be to get in a little early investigative work to find that perfect college situation. "I always wanted to be in the FBI. I would love to work undercover and do some investigative work" he said, when asked about a potential college major. While most schools are telling him that they would like to see him suit up in the offensive backfield, there are exceptions. Harris is intriguing college recruiting coordinators as a potential linebacker prospect as well.
There is no question that the Miami Nike Camp opened some eyes. His speed, vertical, and shuttle runs propelled him from potentially to probable. How far his work ethic and performance will be determined this fall.
Harris hasn't been totally obscure. He helped lead Winter Springs High School to a 21-19 upset of top ranked Palm Bay last season by running for 123 yards on 23 carries. He put up some impressive numbers, rushing for 1711 yards as a junior. He also finished behind All-American linebacker Keith Rivers as Central Florida's All Area Weightlifting Team selection at 219 pounds.
In 2004, he'll suit up for the Seminole High School. His father, Mick Harris is the new head coach at SHS. Coach Harris was a long time assistant at Lyman High School in Longwood. Like all seniors, he's looking to end his high school career with a strong finish, and the hope of securing a scholarship. Harris isn't ready to discuss a list of favorites at this time. He is however, developing a relationship with coaches at some of the schools recruiting him. Who is making a strong impression?
"Odom, you know him from ECU? He's intense. I like that. The coach at Marshall. Soldinger from Miami. He seems like a real straight shooter. Strong from Florida is all business. He's serious. You can tell when he shakes your hand. I really like Joe Kines too. He's a nice guy"
Harris has been asked by a number of schools to attend their camps. As positive an experience as the Miami Nike Camp left on those in the recruiting community. It appears that he will pass on the remaining big camps, including the University of Florida's Rising Seniors Camp, to focus on working out with his new high school teammates. So, well all have to wait until next fall to get a closer look at Harris, who hopes to ascending toward the front of recruiting coordinators notebooks.
Mark McLeod: What has been your summer workout focus?
Kevin Harris: "Everything. Speed, combine stuff, shuttle, bench. I'm really a freak about working out. I love everything about it. I attended the Nike Miami Camp. It's an open camp, but the top 20 get invited back. I was invited back and finished 4th overall. My 40 time, bench, and shuttles were good"
Mark McLeod: How have you patterned your summer training routine...high school coaches, personal trainer, camps, or advice from college player?
Kevin Harris: "Yeah, my Dad (Mick Harris) is my head coach this year. He has a lot of knowledge and has taught me an awful lot about training. I always have a fire burning. I'm obsessed with training. I lift three times a day and jog every night. I'll do multiple lifts per day in the summer to work the secondary muscles. I do a lot of sprints as well. I've been doing the BFS Football Workouts that a lot of guys are doing. I swim about every day too. Swimming is great for training. I'll do the breaststroke, butterflies, and even go underwater, as long as I can, to increase the stamina in my lungs. Our coach Mickey Yasko has helped me tremendously too"
Mark McLeod: What have you improved upon the most this summer?
Kevin Harris: "Definitely strength. I'm making incredible gains right now. I have a 500 squat and a 400 bench. I always try to make gains, but sometimes you get stuck at a certain plateau and have to really work to get over that point. The only time I've ever missed a workout was a for a family affair. That took me away from it one time. But, even with a job or whatever, I'm going to find time to workout. I'm 6'1 and a half or 6'2. Some people measure me at one height, others a little taller and I'm at 225"
Mark McLeod: Which camps will you be attending from this point on?
Kevin Harris: I've attended two combines. Coaches are recruiting me to come to their camps, but I don't really think that I'll be attending any. Miami told me to come down. Coach Strong told me about the Florida camp. Alabama, Maryland, FSU...I could have gone to their camps too. I went over to the UCF camp, but only to visit. I didn't participate. I feel like if I go away for a camp that I might be missing time working out with my teammates. And I don't want to let them down. I want to have a big senior year. We're all kind of like the Band of Brothers. We won't accept anything less than a big year."
Mark McLeod: Are most schools recruiting you as a running back or linebacker?
Kevin Harris: "Most as a running back. I was pretty much a breakaway guy, but I've developed into a guy who can get physical too. Like everybody else, I'm just looking for an opportunity"
Mark McLeod: Which teams are recruiting you the hardest?
Kevin Harris: "Alabama. I'm getting a lot of mail from them. Miami is recruiting me hard too. UCF is showing a lot of interest. Maryland, South Carolina, Marshall, and East Carolina. Indiana, (laughs) Indiana is sending me a lot of stuff"
Mark McLeod: Is there a school that you have looked at as a favorite?
Kevin Harris: "No. I'll take some time and research it. My parents would be very involved. They've always wanted me to get a good education and I'd really like them to be able to go to my games. I'm not opposed to going away from home at all, but it would be nice to have them be able to attend my games."
Mark McLeod: Of all of the coaches recruiting you, who has been the most impressive and why?
Kevin Harris: "Odom, you know him from ECU? He's intense. I like that".
Mark McLeod: Who else has made a strong impression on you?
Kevin Harris: "The coach at Marshall. Soldinger from Miami. He seems like a real straight shooter. Strong from Florida is all business. He's serious. You can tell when he shakes your hand. I really like Joe Kines too. He's a nice guy"
Mark McLeod: You said that you had some unofficial visits taken and some scheduled?
Kevin Harris: "I'd like to visit Maryland and Alabama, but I'm not sure if I'll have time this summer. I saw a little bit of Florida for the weightlifting championships. The place they had the meet was huge. I went looking for a bathroom and saw the pool and it was awesome. Man, I just wanted to jump right in and swim, but I don't think they would've liked that. UCF has the Densch Center. It's a great place too. They've really got things going on over there. USF has a great cafeteria (laughs) I know I'm talking about food, but I can really eat. (laughs) Football wise, they have a great practice facility."
Mark McLeod: What will be that one thing that does it for you when it comes time to determine which college is best for you?
Kevin Harris: "My parents being able to see my games. Whatever they decide and think is best, is really going to be important to me. I trust their judgement"
Mark McLeod: Are you an athlete looking for a school to help improve your game while getting an education or do you consider yourself a student trying to get an education, while trying to go to a school that can help me athletically?
Kevin Harris: "I don't believe a man is anything without an education I know that I have to go to college. Get an education. If I have the opportunity to play football in the NFL, great I'll do it. But, you really never know what can happen."
Mark McLeod: What will you major in?
Kevin Harris: " I always wanted to be in the FBI. I would love to work undercover and do some investigative work. It's only a few minutes from Maryland's campus. You should have seen the eyes of their coach when I said that. (laughs) His eyes got real big. I would be happy being a coach too. I love team sports."
Mark McLeod: If you had to arrange three criteria...depth chart, education, and coaching staff...in level of importance to you, what would they be?
Kevin Harris: "I know exactly what you mean. Coaching staff, education, and depth chart. I'm not real concerned with the depth chart, because that's in my hands. It's up to me to go in there and earn a position"
Mark McLeod: What were some of your stats last season?
Kevin Harris: "I had 1711 yards last year. I got about 14 or 15 touches per game."
Photo courtesy of Kevin Harris