Brand new Saints WR R.J. Harris (UDFA out of University of New Hampshire) was nice enough to take some time out of his schedule to answer some questions for Canal Street Chronicles. For those unfamiliar with Harris’ collegiate career, (on top of breaking some UNH school records) Harris was very productive and currently ranks 4th all-time in the FCS for both career catches and receiving yards.
Now, without further adieu, I present R.J. Harris.
Aaron O’Toole: First off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer some of these questions from a few of our readers and myself.
R.J. Harris: No problem, I'm glad to do anything like this.
AO: One of our readers noted that you seem to have a friendly relationship with current Saint Kasim Edebali - Where does this stem from? (submitted by quickdrawdoc)
RJH: Yes, me and Kasim are very good friends. He went to prep school with one of my roommates from UNH. So he came up a few times from BC and we also would all go to my roommates house. Me and Kasim clicked since our first encounter.
AO: You had a very productive career at UNH - Do you have a chip on your shoulder as an FCS guy wanting to prove you can be as good as or better than any of the other receivers drafted/signed this year? (submitted by quickdrawdoc)
RJH: Coming from a FCS school I definitely feel as if I have a chip on my shoulder. When it comes to comparing myself to those other guys drafted before me, I try not to look too deep into that. I know how hard I have to work to get where I want to be and I'll let my play and production on the field do the comparing.
AO: You returned punts your freshman year, do you have any other experience with/interest in playing on special teams? (submitted by PanheadCatahoula)
RJH: Oh yes, I definitely have experience playing special teams. I'm more than happy and willing to get out there and do whatever it takes to not only make the team, but help make a push for a Super Bowl title.
AO: What type of receiver would you consider yourself? (submitted by BlackandGold4ever)
RJH: I would consider myself a very refined and polished receiver. I pride myself of my route running and my knowledge of the game helps me out, as well. I am a student of the game.
AO: Its 3rd and 7, you need a first down to keep the game alive, what route would you run?
RJH: Whatever the coach dials up, that's what route I'm going to run, and make sure I pick up the first!
AO: You sit down for a game of Madden with a friend, what team do you choose to play with?
RJH: When I sit down to play Madden, I'm definitely picking the Saints! Who Dat Nation!
AO: What do you consider the strongest part of your game? The weakest? (submitted by Paranatural)
RJH: The strongest part of my game would be my route running, and the weakest part would be I'm not a 4.3 kind of receiver.
AO: What has you more excited about joining the Saints; running Coach Payton’s offense, or catching passes from a future hall of famer in Drew Brees?
RJH: The whole experience has me most excited about playing for the Saints. One of the best coaches and QB's from my generation at the helm. Future hall of famers as teammates, beautiful city, and an opportunity to continue my dream. Doesn't get any more exciting than that.
AO: Looking at your stats, you had 44 career rushes for over 9 yards per carry, that’s pretty impressive. Were these mostly reverses, or did you play out of the backfield a little?
RJH: While I was at UNH, we ran a very complex offensive that required me to move around quite a bit. So some were off reverses, speed sweeps, and yes a few came out of the backfield.
AO: The Saints’ top target for the majority of the time with coach Payton has been Marques Colston, a 7th round pick out of a small school (Hofstra). Does seeing that someone with a similar path as you found success on the team give you extra motivation to do the same?
RJH: It definitely gives me motivation, because I see the consistent success he's had over his career and he played in the same conference as my school. Seeing that makes me want to definitely follow his path and adds fuel to the fire.
AO: Do you think it will be helpful having someone like Marques to give advice on making the transition from a small program to the NFL?
RJH: Having someone like Marques will definitely help out the transition. I am like a sponge when it comes to learning new things and taking advice. He is a great wide receiver and I remember watching him when I was in high school and college. Now having an opportunity to be a teammate and learn some advice from him is a honor.
AO: One last question, are you ready for some Cajun food?
RJH: I forgot to mention that earlier in what I'm most excited about coming to New Orleans. I've heard about the food but never got to experience! I'm looking forward to that, too.
Again, I’d like to thank R.J. Harris for answering these questions, please make sure to show the appreciation and follow him and his journey on twitter @RjHarris15.
With a nice combination of production, intelligence, and determination, Harris could be a dark horse come training camp. Here’s to hearing "R.J. Harris comes down with the catch from Brees, and the New Orleans Saints are your Super Bowl 50 champions!!!!"