Come on, give him a shot.
Good morning MCM, I should start by apologizing for recent tardiness. Exams and the start of our own OTA's up in Baltimore have got me literally passing out at my desk lately. However, I'm going to make an effort to become more consistent, starting with today.
How much of a badass is DaJohn Harris? This guy is out there in mid-May heat battling for his dream job only weeks after being skipped over by every team in the business seven times, and he's doing it all with a hole in his heart. I don't care how many times I hear that over the next few days, it is never going to get old. DaJohn Harris is officially this year's OTA superstar.
It hasn't worked out great in the past for OTA superstars of old. In the time since I've been visiting MCM, we've had a pair of running backs, LeGarrette Blount and Javon Ringer, capture the imaginations of fans and (maybe) coaching staffs. Of course, Blount was let go and the Ringer hype kind of fizzled out in wake of CJ's new contract a mediocre season and, but that's what happens when you have one of the best in the business. Should Harris make the team, we will sing his praises forever.
I, for one, will be rooting harder for him than maybe any other player out there. OTA's and football practices in general are usually very little fun. I, who am relatively healthy and in pretty good shape, rediscovered this earlier on Tuesday afternoon. Sitting in the scorching heat, my mind couldn't help but wander a little bit to how Harris's condition would be, perhaps even more mentally than physically, extremely debilitating. I'm not sure I could focus on playing well if I knew that there was literally a hole in the one of the most vital organs in my body. The good news is that this particular condition, Patent Foramen Ovale, is rather common and not directly associated with many serious complications. Even so, the simple nature of the condition is kind of terrifying. I cannot imagine the stresses something like this puts on someone when you consider that this is basically his first job interview for something that he's been dreaming about since he was just beginning to play football at the age of seven.
But he's out there. By most accounts, he's impressive. Certainly impressive enough to have been drafted back in April had this PFO thing not arisen right before the combine. However, his fall from glory might just be the best thing that happened to the Titans this offseason as far as undrafted free agents go. It's well documented that the Titans have a good hit rate on later round prospects recently, who's to say they can't turn more rough into more diamonds? He wrecked absolute havoc on a talented defensive line at USC with Jurrell Casey, and at 6'3", 306, he really adds some mass to somewhat undersized line. If he could learn to use that bulk a little more efficiently, I get the feeling the Titans may have just struck gold. Should he beat the odds, Harris will be the fifth Titan to make the roster as a UDFA. Based on what I've seen from him, I'd say he's got a fair shot at becoming number five, he looked to dominate at times during his collegiate career against legitimate competition.
However this plays out, the lesson is clear: there is always something to be said for perseverance, especially in the face of extreme adversity.