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July 15, 2009

Miami QB Harris ready to answer the call

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Miami quarterback Jacory Harris has a good idea what the fans want from the team this year.

That's because he - along with his teammates - spent time talking with fans, making personal phone calls thanking season-ticket holders for their support.

"Last night I made one call to someone and they started talking and they're like, `I'm hanging up,' " Harris said. "He said, `Is this for real?' I said, `This is Jacory.' He said, `You're lying to me.' He started evaluating me to see if I'm really Jacory. He asked how many players from Northwestern went to Miami. I'm like `Eight.' He said, `I like how fast you answered that, that might be you.'

"Some fans get over the top, start telling you, `We need you to do this.' Some say, `Ask coach [Mark] Whipple if he can go to the spread offense.' I'm the type of person who will listen to you, what you have to say."

What is Harris' sales pitch to start calls?

"I just say, 'Good evening, is such and such available?' " Harris said.
" 'This is Jacory Harris from the University of Miami to thank you for buying season tickets, and we'd like to invite you to Canesfest July 25 from noon to 2 p.m.' "

Harris says he feels "more pressure has been built" after last year. And that's not only because of his phone call experiences.

"In the community people are like, `You have to lead us to a national championship,' " Harris said. "It's like I'm a savior."

And Harris says he's fine with that.

"That's the way it was last year - whether we were down or up, I had to bring us [to a win]," Harris said. "I flourish off of pressure. If pressure's there I just want more of it.

"I'm the type of person, I love big games. If it's not tough, then what are you working for? That's something I want to do. I want to take on the tough opponents 24/7. It makes you a better person."

Harris says he usually doesn't use the final line on the script players are given for their phone calls. That line: "I have to go now, I have other calls to make."

He likes to talk.

And he's looking forward to letting his play do his talking on the field this year.


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