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Old Man Harris Shines....

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FLOUNDER

Monday, May 02, 2005

DAVIE  With the field full of rookies at the Dolphins' first mini-camp, you wouldn't figure to hear anyone referred to as an old man.

But running back Kay-Jay Harris isn't an ordinary rookie, not at 26 years old.

Somebody called him that a few times out there," said fellow running back Doug Parker, a former standout at Atlantic High and Florida Atlantic University. "I didn't even know he was that old. He runs like he's young."
Harris said he didn't hear any age comments, but he doesn't mind them.

"Those jokes are going to come," Harris said. "That's all right. I may be the old man now, but I won't be once the veterans get here. With Junior Seau and those guys running around, I'll feel like I'm 18 again."

There's a good chance Harris will be among the veterans for a while, because he was one of the standouts at the three-day mini-camp, which ended Sunday.

Even with first-round pick Ronnie Brown virtually handed the starting position, Harris should be able to compete for the backup job along with Lamar Gordon, Sammy Morris and Travis Minor.

"I feel like I'm in a good situation," said Harris, who is 6-feet and 229 pounds. "I'm confident in my ability."

Harris has always had ability, which is the reason his road to the NFL has been so long.

A three-sport star at Tampa Bay Technical High, Harris was a 10th-round draft choice of the Texas Rangers in 1997. After batting .186 in four seasons at Class A, he decided to give football another try.

"It's that slider away that fools you," Harris said. "The curveball and the fastball were not a problem. As we all know, that slider looks like a good pitch until you swing."

After two years at Garden City (Kan.) Community College, Harris landed at West Virginia, where he rushed for 1,483 yards and 14 touchdowns in 23 games. A troublesome hamstring limited him to 959 yards and 10 touchdowns as senior.

"Most guys that pull a hamstring, you sit out and you miss three or four games until you get better. Well, I didn't do that," Harris said. "I continued to play to help out my team as much as I could. It may have hurt me, but I'm here now. I got here."

The injury may have affected his draft standing with some teams. Harris' age did as well.

"They said it was a good thing because I was mature enough and know how to be a professional athlete already," Harris said. "My age is something that helped me. I feel like I'm fresh. I feel like I can play 10 years."

Going undrafted has left Harris with even more motivation when he gets to butt heads with the other "old" guys.

"I definitely have a chip on my shoulder, on both shoulders. . . . head, toes, knees and shoulders  all of it," Harris said. "You've got to play this game with a chip on your shoulder. If you don't, that's the play you get knocked out. After I make the team and I'm able to get out on the field, then I can go ahead and unleash that."
 

Dolphin39

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I hope Kay-Jay and Ronnie Brown, along with all our other RBs have a great season.

We've got to be in a lot better shape at RB than we were last year, at least I hope we are.
 

BigTom

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if Harris does good, I say we trade gordon for maybe a fourth to someone who desperately needs a rb
 

Oboy

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Really like the article and like KJ's chances, but careful posting the whole article. The Mods will be upset. Links work well...
 
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