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Football: Harris stays humble amidst success

By Catey McCann, Contributing Writer

There was one specific name that University of Albany head football coach Greg Gattuso dropped after their 49-24 loss to the University of New Hampshire at Cowell Stadium Saturday night.

“R.J., their receiver, presented multiple problems for us tonight,” he said. “We definitely had a match up problem with him. A guy like that, he can control the field, and he did tonight.”

That he did. Harris accounted for three of the seven UNH touchdowns, the third of which finished a 65-yard drive when he scored on an end around from 21 yards out, giving the Wildcats a 29-3 lead going into halftime.

But Saturday night’s win only boosts what has been an impressive football career for the senior wide receiver.

Prior to the game, Harris was already leading the league with an average of 112.4 passing yards per game, a wide margin ahead of Tre McBride of William and Mary at 78.4. He boasts 10 touchdowns this season and 31 in his career. He earned the CFPA National All-Purpose Performer of the Week in early September. And he’s fourth in career   receiving yards at UNH with 2,926.

Not to mention he’s already the prospect of NFL recruiters across the country.

But he doesn’t seem to bask in the spotlight, instead giving all the credit back to the UNH football program.

He had his coach to thank for the impressive 21-yard touchdown.

“That was just a good play by Coach Carty,” he said. “He does a good job.”

And the linemen.

“It really starts up front,” he said. “I’m just in the right position at the right time. They were doing a good job on the edge for me and making it easy just to run in.”

And good practices.

“We go out there and we practice hard every week,” he said. “So that just leads into the game.”

But he’s clearly proud of the offense that UNH has built. He made that known in his response to what has worked well for the team this year.

“The consistency of the offense,” he said. “We’re doing a good job.”

But according to Harris, the successful offense has nothing to do with him.

“It doesn’t start with me,” he said. “It starts with the linemen up front being able to protect. When that happens it opens up the field for other people to make plays.”

He said that having other players come out and make big plays makes UNH an offense to contend with.

“That makes us one of the most dangerous offenses in the country – the fact that we have so many weapons all around,” he said. “It’s not just one guy doing one thing.”

His example of that kind of weaponry was red shirt freshman Donald Goodrich, who came out in the fourth quarter and rushed for 50 yards.

“Just to come in the game in the fourth quarter at the end of a cold, long, wet game and he comes out a does that,” he said. “It just goes to show that we have weapons everywhere on the field.”

Whether or not R.J. Harris is willing to recognize his own weaponry on the UNH football squad, the rest of the world is – starting with frustrated opposing team head coaches.

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