If the Buffs plan on improving on the 2-10 disaster of a season last year, they will have to start in the trenches, where the offensive line will have to give the quarterback time to throw and tailback Hugh Charles holes to run through.
Edwin Harrison, the 6-foot 4-inch and 300-pound left tackle, will be one of those offensive linemen that can hopefully begin to turn the team around.
EDWIN HARRISON #76
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Last season, quarterback Bernard Jackson had very little time to stay in the pocket, often forcing an errant throw on account of an oncoming defensive lineman. Charles often had to turn a simple counter up the middle into a dash for the sideline, as no holes emerged for him to run through.
Harrison and right tackle Tyler Polumbus are now the offensive line’s senior veterans after center Mark Fenton and left guard Brian Daniels graduated last year.
“We still have good players here,” Harrison said. “We have to keep on rolling no matter who we lose, and we have to get better. (Two and 10) won’t be good enough.”
During spring practice, coaches are cautious of wearing down Harrison and his fellow offensive linemen.
“I’m pretty sure that Coach Hawkins as well as (Offensive-Line Coach Jeff) Grimes will look out for us as far as practices go,” Harrison said.
Special teams players are currently filling in gaps for o-line drills. Newly recruited players, like Ryan Miller, are not yet out of high school, and therefore not available for spring practice.
Regardless of who is or isn’t there to practice, Harrison knows that success as a team begins with success as an individual.
As a player other linemen look up to, Harrison advises to “just go out and do the best that you can, every day. How you practice is truly going to be how you play.”
And in taking his own advice, Harrison hopes this season for him will be more of a success than last year.
“Personal goals have got to be, first and foremost, starting on this offensive-line again and becoming an all-Big 12 player and becoming an all-American player,” Harrison said. “And hopefully being able to take that step to winning the Big 12 Championship.”
To achieve these lofty goals, Harrison goes through an extensive workout regimen. During the off-season, he works out for 90 minutes four days a week. Harrison bench-presses 415 pounds, over a fifth of a ton.
Football isn’t all about physical toughness, though. It’s also a mental game, and Harrison has been a member of National Honors Society, the English Honor Society and the French Honors Society during his career at CU.
Still, there’s only so much that practice and prestigious academic clubs can do. For Harrison, Sept. 1, 2007, is circled on his calendar. That is the day CU plays its first game of next season, against the Colorado State University Rams at Invesco Field in Denver.
“Colorado State is a huge game,” Harrison said. “The first game of the season is always the one you look forward to the most.”
Until that day, all Harrison can do is practice and mentally prepare for a season in which the team will rely heavily on him and his offensive-line for better results than achieved last year.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Evan Acker at email@example.com.