Canes QB Jacory Harris Needs To Chat With Coach Chris Perkins
Uncle Luke, the man
whose booty-shaking madness once made the Supreme Court stand up for free
speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke says the Miami Hurricanes starting quarterback needs a talking-to from his high school quarterbacks
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Jacory Harris should be one of the best college quarterbacks in America.
The University of Miami standout threw for more than 3,000 yards last year and
has been mentioned as a Heisman Trophy contender this year. But he has an
interception problem. Last year, he tossed 17, and two weeks ago, against Ohio
State, he threw four.
As the Hurricanes prepare to play the Pittsburgh Panthers this Thursday,
I know how to fix this. Call in Chris Perkins, the high school quarterbacks
coach who mentored Harris when he was lighting up the scoreboard for the Miami
Perkins is responsible for producing the Harris who threw 35 touchdown
passes and only six interceptions during his first season as a Bulls starter in
2006. That year and the next, Harris went undefeated and won two state
championships, and in 2007, he captured the high school national
And it's not just Harris. Last year, Perkins guided Jeffrey Godfrey, the
former Miami Central High QB who broke Harris's passing record of 6,365 yards by
716 yards. Godfrey now plays at the University of Central Florida. Two weeks
ago, the Knights were down 21 points to the North Carolina State Wolfpack when
Godfrey replaced starter Rob Calabrese in the third quarter. The former Central
High standout marched his team 55 yards, capping the drive with a six-yard
scramble for a touchdown. Godfrey finished with 160 yards passing and two TDs in
the 28-21 loss. The kid was flat-out amazing. This past weekend, Godfrey led the Knights to victory.
It's no coincidence Perkins taught both Harris and Godfrey. And this
year, even though we are upset he is not with us at Central, Perkins is back at
Miami Northwestern, coaching Teddy Bridgewater, Harris's heir apparent at the
University of Miami.
This man coached the top four state quarterbacks from 2005
to 2009, all of whom made first team All-Florida. Why doesn't Canes top man
Randy Shannon or offensive coordinator Mark Whipple call him?
All three quarterbacks can relate to Perkins (whose dad coached Shannon at Norland) because they all grew up in
the same kind of youth football, sponsored by the Optimist Club. In high school,
Perkins started three years at quarterback for Miami Norland Senior High. He
landed an athletic scholarship at Bethune-Cookman College, where he started for
three years. He transferred to Tennessee State before his senior year. In
his first game as the QB against the Tigers' rival, Eastern Kentucky, Perkins
threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for
Perkins needs to be invited to Greentree Field during practice so he can
help Whipple understand what is going wrong with Harris. The UM coaches got a
good start by prohibiting their players from tweeting. Perkins can tell you that
in his school, Harris wasn't talking all of this crazy stuff on Twitter and
posting pictures of himself in ridiculous outfits. The UM player needs to go
back to his roots.
Perkins told me the other day that if he had been on the
field for the Ohio State game, he would have gotten in Harris's face.
I coached at Miami Central last year alongside Perkins. I've seen him
lock quarterbacks in a room for five hours and force them to go over plays,
reads, and checks. That's how you make a passing king. The Hurricanes have
invested too much in Harris for him to fail.
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