Villanova (and Rutgers and South Florida, among others) have never seen anything like Montel Harris.
What can be said about Montel Harris that hasn’t already been said?
We all know the facts, that Harris was the second-leading rusher in the HISTORY of the ACC, that he was LAST YEAR’S runaway choice for Preseason Player of the Year in that same conference, that he once ran for 252 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-28 win over North Carolina State and had 22 games of over 100 yards against ACC teams such as Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami.
Much bigger-time teams than even the ones he will be facing in the Big East.
|David Wilson and Luke Kuechly were first-round NFL picks.
Danny O’Brien is the starting QB at Wisconsin. Few considered
them nearly as good as Montel Harris in the ACC media poll.
All I was interested in finding out Tuesday during a media sitdown with the new Temple running back (and quite possibly this year’s Big East Player of the Year) was finding out if Montel Harris was 100 percent because, if he is, he will make people forget Bernard Pierce.
No bigger Bernard Pierce fan than me but, as good as Pierce was (and still is), a healthy Harris is better.
There’s a lot of empirical evidence out there to suggest that. Harris had more yards in a much higher level of football playing roughly the same number of games as Pierce did.
Harris says he’s 100 percent. I believe him.
If that holds up, people might be saying Bernard Who if not by September, then certainly by October.
He says he’s fine and so does head coach Steve Addazio and the cuts he made on the field on Tuesday said so the loudest.
“I’m feeling 100 percent,” Harris said. “The knee is good. It was the left knee, but most people aren’t able to tell.”
When I first saw the many video highlights of Harris, his running style reminded me a lot of not Pierce, but Matt Brown, the other half of Temple’s 1-2 running punch. Harris is bigger and heavier. Brown might be a tad faster. Both are tough and both can make runners miss and make what Addazio calls “explosive plays” downfield. Throw in a great running quarterback like Chris Coyer and a spread offense that opens the field up and a few bulbs could break this year on the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard.
“I’m a balanced runner able to make things happen in the open field but also able to break tackles,” Harris said.
Even though Harris ran into some trouble at Boston College, I think he will be a solid citizen at Temple.
“I’m just here to say I’m here to play football and I’m a great football player and I have great character off the field,” Harris said.
Everyone at the E-O has known that for the past month or so.
In eight days, the seamless transition from BP to MH could become just an unquestioned upgrade to Temple’s fans.