offensive numbers are eye popping. They are almost ridiculously high. They are
what you notice first about Virginia Tech signee Victor "Macho" Harris
of Highland Springs High School. Harris, the consensus choice as the No. 1
recruit in Virginia, is a five-star prospect with good reason. Try 5,320 career
yards, a Central Region record. Check out 70 career touchdowns. How about 418
yards in ONE game in 2004? Or 2,346 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior?
Yet the first collegiate look people will get at Harris is
on the other side. He’s joining the Hokies with an eye on cracking their
defensive backfield early in his career, as soon as the 2005 season, he hopes.
The numbers on the defensive side don’t add up like the
numbers on the offensive side. So words will have to do instead.
"Can he play defense?" said Mark Tomlin, the
head coach at Prince George High School who dealt with Harris’ Springers in the
season’s first game. "Let me tell you a story. We’re trying a pass play and
our quarterback checks his reads. No one is open, so he’s throwing the ball away
like he’s been told to do. Macho is going away from the ball.
"I look up and Macho has reached way back" –
Tomlin makes like a contortionist to demonstrate – "and he does something
I’ve never seen before. He catches the end of the ball, pulls it down and starts
running and scores a touchdown. Our quarterback was so shocked he just stood
"Yes, he can play defense."
A projected cornerback at Tech, Harris was a free safety
at Highland Springs. Springers coach Scott Burton understands the questions
about Harris playing defense because he saw first hand Harris the offensive
"He has been such a weapon for us offensively, so
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