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July 8, 2008Only a sophomore, Bo Harris has already experienced many of the highs and lows that come as a college football player.
For Harris the high came Nov. 24 at Jordan-Hare Stadium when he started his first career game against arch-rival Alabama.
"It was a great feeling," said Harris. "It wasn't that serious before but once I actually got out there it was a big change.
"You can feel the hatred."
The low came just days later when he went under the knife for major shoulder surgery.
"It was a huge rollercoaster," said Harris. "Coming in kinda late and getting some playing time, and then the surgery just slammed the door back in my face."
It's been a steady battle back for Harris since the surgery on his left shoulder in December. He watched most of spring practice from the sidelines but said his shoulder, which was first dislocated during two-a-days last fall, is much better now.
"I'm back full speed with everything and lifting weights," said Harris. "My bench press has raised up a little bit. I still do a treatment but I think it's more for precautionary reasons.
"I recovered faster than they thought I would. They gave me the OK, 100 percent."
Harris said they considered having the shoulder surgery last fall, before the season, but he decided to play on it for as long as he could. After not qualifying out of high school and spending a year at Milford Prep in New York, Harris was determined not to have another lost season.
"You can't get your freshman year back," said Harris.
Harris was disappointed he missed AU's final game against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl but needed to have the surgery in December to give him the best opportunity of returning to full speed by this fall.
Now that he's back, Harris and his teammates have been focusing on summer workouts, watching film and taking care of all the little things in preparation for the upcoming season.
"We haven't been talking about other teams," said Harris. "We've just been talking about us as a team and what we need to do as a team first before we start talking about what we're going to win and this and that.
"We have to come together as a team, win that part, and everything else will come easy."
The serious preparations start Aug. 2 with the beginning of preseason practice. Harris doesn't plan to hold anything back as he competes with Craig Stevens for the starting Sam linebacker position.
"That's all I've been thinking about," said Harris. "I can't wait for two-a-days, just to strap it on and hit somebody and see if it will stay in place this time.
"I'm going out hard. That's all I know."
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