A Rousing Reception
On New Year's Day, four of the most coveted wideouts in the country were in action, Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson, Tennessee's Robert Meachem and USC's terrific tandem of Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett. On January 2, another of the college game's finest set of hands, those belonging to Louisville's Harry Douglas, took his act prime time when his high-scoring Cardinals tangled with come-from-nowhere Wake Forest (11-2) in the FedEx Orange Bowl. Like the case has been Douglas' entire All-Big East-earning season (60 catches, 1,100 yards, six TDs), the Atlanta area native seemingly caught everything that came his way. A 10-catch, 165-yard-receiving night in a 24-13 victory should have been Orange Bowl MVP worthy, but Harry's QB, Brian Brohm, took home the honor. No worries from No. 85, for as you'll soon read in this exclusive KING interview a few weeks before the big bowl, this NFL prospect has got plenty going on in his life to smile about.
Harry, y'all experienced such highs with the West Virginia victory and such lows with the Rutgers loss this season. Take me through that emotional roller coaster.
My coach [Bobby Petrino] talks about adversity and coming back from things that are bad. As a team, we showed a lot of character by coming back and winning the [South Florida] game [on November 18] after the loss we had.
Okay, you talk about character, after the tough Rutgers loss, how long did it take you to look at the situation with an "All right, there's another dayâ€ attitude?
Really, the next day. You can't sit there and pout about one thing because it can affect the rest of your season. You basically gotta kick yourself up the next day â€˜cuz you still got a chance to accomplish all of your goals. Just keep fighting.
How important was it for your younger brother, Toney (the second-leading scorer for the 12-2 Florida State basketball team), to step from under your shadow and do his own thing in college?
It would've been great if we would've went to school together. But at the same time, I knew my brother had to grow up. We're best friends. We do everything together. Every time we home, I try my best to see him and he tries his best to see me. At the same time, in the back of my mind I knew he had to grow up and become a man for himself. I do whatever I can for him. But at the same time, I won't [do everything] because I know he's got to learn certain things to grow and be a man on his own.
I know he needed your words of encouragement last year after he had to sit out an entire season for transferring from Auburn to Florida State. What kinds of things did you say to him?
I just told him to use it as motivation. I had to sit out my freshman year because I redshirted. It was hard sittin' out a whole year and not playing. I just told him to take everyday serious and just focus on the little things. Work on the little things and make your game better. We talked a lot. I went down there and saw him a lot. I think we got even more and more closer during that time period.
You appear to be taking your game to another level. How far do you think you are from the Calvin Johnsons and Steve Smiths of the world?
I'll put it like this: Hard work pays off. Since my first day here, I devoted myself to working hard everyday and do all the little things right and work on areas I know I wasn't that good at to make my game better and become one of the top receivers in the nation. I never really focus on the things I did good; I always look at the things I did wrong. Like after a game, I always look at film, but I won't look at plays I did right. I look at the plays I did wrong so that next week I won't make'em.
What do you think NFL scouts say you need to work on?
I'll sayâ€¦ummâ€¦I don't know â€˜cuz I'm working on everything. The main [negative] thing coming in was blocking, but I block well now, so that's not a thing anymore.
Talk about Brian Brohm. You think he's got what's necessary to succeed at the next level?
He does. He's a very smart player. He's got a strong arm. He makes good decisions. A quarterback's gotta be smart. He's got to be able to look off one receiver and throw to the second, third or fourth option. He does that very well.
If you weren't an All-Big East receiver, what kind of career path would you be on right now?
I'd be playing basketball. Basketball or baseball.