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Bonesville One-on-One

Thursday, August 20, 2009
By Ron Cherubini
 Editor of Bonesville The Magazine

In Step with Dwayne Harris

Healthy and Looking Forward to a
Season of Offensive Fireworks

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

Wide Receiver
Stone Mountain, GA
(Photo: ECU SID)

His East Carolina teammates call him Young Slash because he seems to always be able to find a seam, a tiny crack in the defense and exploit. He confounds even the best of the Pirates’ linebackers as they try to make sense of how a guy can just shrug off their best hits. To the coaches, he presents a bit of too much of a good thing as they scratch their heads looking for more ways to get him the football. For the fans, he is something to behold, always one step from a TD.

For Dwayne Harris, it is just the way he plays football. Arguably the biggest of ECU’s host of playmakers, a lot of the diversity in the offense was lost a season ago with an injury to the wide receiver/kick returner extraordinaire in the 10th week of the season. Harris is healthy again now – in fact he says he is feeling darn good right now – and the junior is excited about the offensive possibilities this season. He thinks it could be a season of fireworks.

Harris took the time recently to sit down with Bonesville for a one-on-one Q & A in which he shared his thoughts about the Pirates offense, the possibilities of being miles better than a year ago, and the Pirates goals for 2009. Harris clearly is a special talent and to talk to him, you understand quickly why he is so respected by his teammates. In a word, he is humble and unselfish. And he sees an opportunity for something very, very special this season.

* * * * * *

ECU Media Relations photo

Bonesville: As a junior, you have played a lot of football at ECU already and will be counted on to be a vital part of the ECU offense. What is this offense out to prove this season?

Dwayne Harris: We are out to prove that we can play with the best teams out there. Last year we had some injuries and off-field problems so we weren’t able to do some of the things this offense can do. This season, we are healthy and have playmakers and expect to be one of the best in the conference.

B: Are you healthy and feeling good? What is the role you expect to play this season in this offense?

DH: I am back at 100% and I am feeling great. I am out here to do whatever the coaches want me to do… I am ready for whatever role they want me to play in the offense.

B: You are regularly referred to as the team’s biggest playmaker. Do you see a lot of things happening that will allow you to make those types of plays?

DH: We have Jamar Bryant coming back which gives us another big threat on the other side of the offense and a guy like Michael Bowman, another guy who is similar to me. We have Dominique (Lindsay) coming back who makes big plays so, yes, there should be a lot of opportunities for me to make some big plays. Defenses can’t key on just one guy in our offense.

B: Any nicknames for you?

DH: They call me Young Slash… so I try to live up to that.

B: Talk about some of the young guys in the receiving corps. Who should we keep an eye on for breaking out this season?

DH: The young guys… you have guys like Darryl Freeney and Joe Womack and Michael Bowman – those are three young guys who are going to get a lot of playing time and are able to contribute to make a big impact on the offense.

B: The offense returns a veteran quarterback in Patrick Pinkney. Talk about the importance of having a guy like Pinkney back under center.


B: From a receiver’s perspective, how important is it that Pat Pinkney is back for another year?

DH: With Pat being back, we have all been with him for three years now. All of us know him, know how he throws the football, how he reacts in situations… we definitely know how to read each other with all of the work we have done through the seasons. That connection is important. We all have that connection with him and [that] should give us a lot of momentum going into the season.

B: When you look around the team, can you name a player or two that really commands your respect with their abilities?

DH: You know, we got a lot of great players here. There are too many to talk about.

B: Do you feel like working against this defense is going to benefit the offense this season?

DH: Yes, sir. As a receiver, you know, we play against one of the best safeties in the country in Van Eskridge and then you look at the corners and there is a freshman All-American in Emmanuel Davis and there is Dekota Marshall and [a great] line, one of the best in the country, coming at our quarterback, so we practice against the best every day here.

B: So, then, what is the goal this year for this team?

DH: The conference championship again, an undefeated season and get to a BCS bowl.

B: What kind of advantage does the home crowd give to this team?

DH: Huge. The fans support us win or lose here. It really helps to build the program and the recruits see that it brings them in.

B: What are your personal goals this season?

DH: Put up better numbers than last season and accomplish those team goals.

B: Do you think that if this offense can stay healthy, will it be the type of offense that can carry this team?

DH: Most definitely… we have playmakers all around this team, receivers, running backs, quarterback… our line… yes, I think we will be able to carry this team if we need to.

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08/30/2009 02:28:38 AM


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