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#1 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 10:06:00 AM(UTC)
A fun read and I am hoping they hit the title correctly, I hope he becomes part of the answer at Running Back for the Packers next season. Still impressed with his burst into the running lanes..


The start of something special?

He wasted no time shaky off the rust – and shaking up an opponent.

Harris received a carry on Green Bay's first offensive snap, and ran around the right end for an 11-yard gain.

Detroit safety Ricardo Silva was credited with the tackle, but not before getting leveled in a collision with the 5-foot-8, 203-pound Harris.

That play inspired Rome, the well-known sports talk show host, to post this tweet: "Dude! DuJuan Harris??!? Listed at 5-8?! That was a violent truck job. Might want to re-insert him."

The Packers eventually did, but it wasn't until the fourth quarter that Harris truly struck a blow to the visiting Lions.

His team having rallied from a 14-0 deficit, Harris put Green Bay in front rushing 14 yards to the end zone with 10:45 left.

It was the first touchdown in Harris' professional career, which began last year with Jacksonville after he was signed as an undrafted rookie out of Troy University.

What followed was Harris partaking in the customary "Lambeau Leap" as he jumped headfirst into the crowd behind the end zone.

As a high school senior, Harris won state championships in the long and triple jumps. Yet high jump skills were required to pull off the celebration.

"It felt good," Harris said. "I knew I had to do the leap when I scored, so I was hoping I'd make it. That wall is a lot higher than people think.

"I had my face down. I couldn't see much. I know next time, hopefully if I get another chance, try to jump in and turn around."

For the game, Harris ran seven times for 31 yards, part of a breakthrough 140-yard effort for the maligned Packer ground attack.

NBC's Michele Tafoya asked Green Bay's quarterback Rodgers about the team's rushing performance in an on-field postgame interview.

Commenting on each of the running backs who made significant contributions that night, the NFL's reigning MVP and State Farm pitchman said something that probably had some locals double-checking more than their insurance discounts.

"DuJuan Harris, you know, he could be special down the road," Rodgers told Tafoya, a smile spreading across his face.

"I have a lot of respect for Aaron," Harris said. "I appreciate him saying that. I really don't have the words to explain what it means to get that kind of comment from one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. It's a great honor.

"I've got to keep working to become something special."

* * * * *
Harris said he had 108 texts message waiting for him on his cell phone after the game, not to mention numerous missed calls.

His athlete page on Facebook "got a lot of attention. And my Twitter went crazy."

He heard rumor that he was a trending topic on Twitter during the game, in part due to Rome's tweet, though he isn't sure that's true.

Regardless, it's quite a long way to go for a player just hoping to receive another opportunity to play in the NFL only a few months ago.

"Things happen for a reason," Harris said. "I pray about a lot of things and blessings don't come when you want them to. But they always come on time. I looked at it as a test of faith.

"Things happen for a reason, and things happened just the way they were supposed to so I could have that moment."

So far he has enjoyed his time in Green Bay. There's a family feel in the Packer locker room, he said, and they have quickly accepted him.

Then there's the teams loyal fan base that supports a major pro franchise out of a small Wisconsin town.

"It's been great up here," Harris said. "It's just been cold."

The Brooksville native is obviously used to a warmer climate. However, he's not back home anymore, and folks outside this area are starting to learn more about him.

One reporter asked him after the Lions game about his Twitter handle, @Ol_sLy_Foxx. That led to Harris explaining his life-long nickname, Foxx, given to him by his parents since he was born with red hair.

On Friday night, the Green Bay Press Gazette's website featured a Q&A article on Harris. It includes another explanation of the Foxx moniker, among other details.

So Hernando County's gridiron secret is out. He said appreciates the hometown support and enjoys showing what this county can produce.

Despite everything that took place last weekend, though, he remains far from satisfied.

The Packers play in Chicago this afternoon, hoping to clinch a division title, giving him his first chance to prove he's no one-game wonder.

"It's my dream, but it's also my job," Harris said. "I feel like I'm not there yet. I'm here and everything is fine. But I want to be able to get my mother a new house, so she doesn't have to worry about much. Until I've done that, I won't feel like I did it.

"But it's a blessing every day waking up saying I'm an NFL player, and I'm helping my team win and try to make it to the Super Bowl."
#2 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 10:55:22 AM(UTC)
nice read, I like it when players take care of momma.

#3 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 11:20:06 AM(UTC)
I would love him to stick around and end up being our own version of sproles.
#4 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 11:36:47 AM(UTC)
gbguy20 said: Go to Quoted Post
I would love him to stick around and end up being our own version of sproles.

what this guy said. I always loved Sproles.
#5 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 11:46:13 AM(UTC)
I don't think there is any possible way that Harris isn't back next season, I just hope he grabs a hold of the opportunity and seizes the day.
#6 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 12:07:10 PM(UTC)
I still think we have to give him a full off-season and pre-season load before I become fully confident. I mean we loved Samkon Gado too.
Mucky Tundra  
#7 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 12:20:22 PM(UTC)
I think he's a real diamond in the rough. Gives the team a pass catching threat out of the backfield and a burst of speed that we haven't had in recent years. Looking forward to seeing him make plays next year.
#8 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 12:46:16 PM(UTC)
I'm worried that he's part of a trend I've noticed with the Pack at RB over the past few years. We tend to uncover new RB's late in the year who come on really strong but can't ever seem to reproduce their performance:

Najeh Davenport
Samkon Gado
Deshawn Wynn
Brandon Jackson
Ryan Grant
James Starks

I really hope he's different, because he looks amazing.
#9 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 1:13:42 PM(UTC)
blueleopard said: Go to Quoted Post
I still think we have to give him a full off-season and pre-season load before I become fully confident. I mean we loved Samkon Gado too.

A lot of people loved Samwise. Like you are with Harris, I for some reason wasn't totally convinced Gado was going to prove out.

As for Harris, I am not totally sold either but what I have seen looks good.
#10 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 6:11:51 PM(UTC)
He's not a bell cow, and that's what they need. He's a change of pace back or perhaps sparkplug is a better description. There's nothing wrong with that. It's a trend in the NFL. Most teams have a bell cow and then a change of pace. I think the 49ers have that type of situation with Frank Gore and the emerging LaMichael James. However, he’s not the full-time answer to the running back woes. If anything, he’s the player that Mike McCarthy envisioned Alex Green of becoming. He fills that role. I’d love to see the Packers take a chance on Stephan Taylor, Monte Ball, or Le’Veon Bell in the draft to pair with him. That’d be ideal for an offense that is likely losing Greg Jennings and possibly losing Jermichael Finley.
#11 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 7:42:47 PM(UTC)
porky88 said: Go to Quoted Post
He's not a bell cow, and that's what they need.

? Why would you write him off as not being able to be the bell cow?

Size? MDJ 5'7 208.. bell cow back. Ray Rice 5'8" 212 ... bell cow back. Harris.. 5'8" 208.

Harris is short, but is pretty well put together.. someone like Taylor coming out is what 6'1" and 212.

I guess I don't see the reason to write him off so quickly.. that is all.

#12 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 8:26:06 PM(UTC)
Pack93z said: Go to Quoted Post
? Why would you write him off as not being able to be the bell cow?

Size? MDJ 5'7 208.. bell cow back. Ray Rice 5'8" 212 ... bell cow back. Harris.. 5'8" 208.

Harris is short, but is pretty well put together.. someone like Taylor coming out is what 6'1" and 212.

I guess I don't see the reason to write him off so quickly.. that is all.

No, his size is fine. I don't think he creates, though. Ray Rice is far more elusive. MJD runs over defenders. Harris is a simple player. He hits the hole and gets yardage. Nothing wrong with that, but it's more of a change of pace style. He averaged just over 4 yards per carry on 62 attempts, while facing very little resistance from the defense. Most teams will happily give the Packers those yards, if it means Aaron Rodgers isn’t throwing down the field.

He's not someone that is going to influence a defense. Right now, the Packers need to find two running backs. They need a bell cow and a jack-of-all-trades type of back. A player capable of pass-protection, receiving, and change of pace. That’s Harris, in my assessment. He’s a sparkplug for the offense.

I think that’s great, but I know expectations are somewhat higher. I feel like such a debbie downer, but I believe it's a realistic assessment of the kinda player he's capable of becoming.
#13 Posted : Friday, January 25, 2013 9:00:29 PM(UTC)

#14 Posted : Saturday, January 26, 2013 11:38:29 AM(UTC)
I love this kid, and I would have no problem whatsoever going into 2013 with him as our #1 feature RB. I think the coaching and play calling could take some lessons on attitude from this player, and give him a legitimate number of carries to be a top RB in the NFL. Make running the football more of a priority, and change the attitude on offense to what this kid does!
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