Friday Q&A: February 22, 2013

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1: “Macho” Harris was a 5-Star player who did very well at cornerback for us. However, he didn’t really pan out in the NFL. Do you think if he played another position (Safety, WR) for us all four years he have made it in the NFL?

Chris Coleman: Interesting question. Harris started at free safety for the Eagles as a rookie, but was cut in the offseason and never stuck on another roster. He was obviously a guy who could make plays with the ball in his hands at Virginia Tech, but at the NFL level he wasn’t particularly athletic. He only ran a 4.68 40 at the NFL Combine, and his vertical jump was only 33.5 inches.

I suppose it’s a little strange. At a major program like Virginia Tech, Macho Harris started at cornerback, he returned some kicks, he caught passes as a wide receiver, and he even spent a spring at tailback. For a guy that versatile at such a high level of college football, it is very surprising that he’s not in the NFL right now.

The NFL realized that Macho didn’t have the athletic ability to play man coverage at that level. He probably could have played corner in a scheme that used mostly zone coverages. However, he ended up at free safety for the Eagles. He started eight games in Philly as a rookie in 2009, and one game for the Redskins in 2010. After that, he was released. Then the Steelers signed him, and promptly cut him.

Last April, Harris signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. However, he was released during final cuts two years later. At this point, after being cut by three NFL teams and one Canadian team, I think it’s fairly obvious that Harris just isn’t a professional football player at that level. I’m not sure that playing safety all four years at Virginia Tech would have changed that.

2: Speaking to the atmosphere in Cassell, is there any chance for introductions we could go lights out with a spotlight. Like a little Chicago Bull-ish style? To speak on the students having sideline seats, look at how NC State, or Illinois sits their students. I think we should try and resemble that somehow.

CC: If you know Jim Weaver, you know Virginia Tech isn’t going to do any of that while he’s athletics director. Imagine somebody tripping and falling down the steps when those lights went out. That’s a ton of liability, and it opens the door for a big lawsuit most likely.

As far as students having