Defensive back Iric Harris made his return to the gridiron this season.
HerdNation: First off, Iric, why don't you talk about your guys' last game against Heritage?
Iric Harris: "Uh it went good. We came out and did what we practiced on all week and that was to score on the first drive. That was positive and what we worked on in the game that just came up--we went out and did that and started rolling. We went up 21 points in the first quarter. Yeah, it was a pretty good game."
HerdNation: Talk to me about playing against bigger receivers, Iric. You've said you relish the challenge of going up against bigger receivers. Talk about that a little bit.
Iric Harris: "Bigger receivers, I prefer going up against them, because it's harder to shake me off. I'm low to the ground, I'm close to their body, and I'm also fast. So I like going against bigger receivers. Those are the cocky ones too. They've just got a height advantage. A bigger receiver is no big deal to me when it comes to them."
HerdNation: Talk about the college football recruitment process and has it changed much for you over the past few weeks?
Iric Harris: "Yeah, it's starting to pick up, I'm getting more calls from schools. The college recruitment process is a rollercoaster. You know--I've been through the ups and downs with it. Right now I'm just playing the waiting game. Doing what I've gotta do on the field and in the classroom so maybe I'll find a place."
HerdNation: Tell me your thoughts on the new helmet-to-helmet rules in the NFL.
Iric Harris: "I think with the rules, with the helmet-to-helmet rules--some players can't control it. I think them getting fined or getting suspended a couple of games is too much. It's gonna lessen the hits across the middle, you know what I'm saying. Those big hits aren't gonna happen how they used to happen because players are gonna be scared to make those hits. So I think the league is doing too much now--with the defense. There's nothing you can do--it's built for offense. I think the whole system is a money thing--the more points the offense scores, the more fans they have, the more money they make--so I hope they lose a bunch of money with the system. (Laughs)."
HerdNation: You were telling me you're a Cowboys fan. Your favorite Cowboy is Mike Jenkins. Tell me why Mike Jenkins is your favorite Cowboy, Iric?
Iric Harris: Well, a lot of people compare us. It was like last week and somebody was like, 'Man I've seen Mike Jenkins play, you remind me of him.' I was like, 'Why, cause the hair?' You know what I'm saying because of the dreads (laughs). He gets tested every week. He's always showed that he's in the league for a reason, he's consistent on the team, unlike some of their players on the Cowboys which kind of makes me mad. Everybody should be consistent, but yeah he's consistent. He gets tested against good receivers--that's what I like about him."
HerdNation: Iric, you know you came back this year from your torn ACL, you've been having a monster year, man. Six interceptions, over 300 yards receiving. What do you attribute to your success this year, Iric?
Iric Harris: (Pause) I mean, the coaches, he has a lot of faith in me, you know, him and my quarterback (Dominique Miller). Because that's a lot coming in as a new coach, this kid's coming off an ACL injury. Will they perform? Can I put the ball in his hands? Can I put him on defense? Will he be able to cover without this and that happening? The coaches have a trust in me and my team captain trusted me. That was a big part of my success."
HerdNation: Iric, when I break you down, watching your highlights and film, I feel like the backpedal is one of the best parts of your game. Have you spent an extra amount of time on that over the years? How did you develop such a good backpedal?
Iric Harris: "My first DB coach, he went to the University of Houston. He messed up his knee, so when he started coaching at Hylton, he went to Hylton back int he day--we backpedaled for at least an hour in practice. We backpedaled down the field and back, down the field and back. He was bringing us the whole 100 yards going up and down backpedaling. He just reminded me that the backpedal is important. Every college camp I've been to, when we go to defensive back period, we backpedal like crazy. So I just kept doing that this summer, after I got hurt--the backpedal. Actually, coming back from my injury, I was backpedaling before I was running. That was kind of crazy because it just happened. I was in the gym, I was like I'm about to backpedal and I was backpedaling faster than I could run coming from the injury. So it's just something that was installed in me through the years."
HerdNation: How much has it meant to you, this year Iric. Coming through all the rehab and just the really long process that you went through to get back on the field this year and to make such a big impact in the way that you have this year. How much does that mean to you Iric?
Iric Harris: It means a lot. It means a lot, because you know sitting out a year and watching my team going through what they went through last year and not having a good season. You know, gettin' back and what we're doing now we're undefeated. We're making a statement through our district and through our region that we're back! Hylton's back on the map and don't sleep on us. This has been a big deal to be able to contribute to the success of my team."
HerdNation: Who do you guys have coming up this week?
Iric Harris: "We have Garfield--our district championship game."
HerdNation: Talk about that match up a little bit Iric?
Iric Harris: "Uh, this is a very, very, very important game for us. We win this game, there's a good chance we could end the season 10-0. Getting that first round bye in the playoffs and getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It's also the District Championship game. So we're gonna bring the district title back to Hylton where it belongs. I grew up with a bunch of kids that go to Garfield. I know the coach very well. So the game's very important to not only me, but to the rest of the players and the Hylton staff."
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