July 9, 2012

Redshirt year helps out Harris

When John Harris arrived at Mississippi State in January 2011 he weighed only 201-pounds.

But after a full year in Matt Balis' strength program the redshirt freshman defensive end has packed on 35-pounds and put himself in position to see the field this fall.

"It helped me go through this without wasting a year," Harris said. "I needed to put on some more weight, get stronger and bigger. I just learned the game more."

During his first spring on campus Harris earned the nickname "Mini-Phee" due to his dreadlocks, defensive end position and wearing No. 90 just like former Bulldog and current Baltimore Ravens standout Pernell McPhee.

Harris admits that he isn't crazy about the nickname but takes it as a compliment.

"Well being me, I like to be called my name," Harris said. "I'm my own person. But I didn't take it as an insult."

The Boynton Beach, Fla., native believes he had an advantage over several of the other incoming freshmen last year due to graduating early and going through spring drills. Harris thinks his second spring went even better than the first.

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