Thanks in large part to our network, Fansided, and Rosenhaus Sports for the opportunity to interview Titans rookie running back Jamie Harper. Read along as he talks about his favorite teams growing up, the feeling he got from starting in the pre-season, the strongest part of his game and more.
Titan Sized: What was your inspiration for becoming a football player?
Jamie Harper: “To be honest with you, really and truly, baseball was my first love. Baseball kind of carried me into high school. Then football….it offers that excitement. You can’t really get that electrifying moment in baseball that you can get in football.”
Once in high school, football became the central sport in Jamie Harper’s life and “it’s been football ever since”.
Like most kids, Jamie remained very active growing up and found playing sports to be an outlet of staying out of trouble, which led to him playing multiple sports as a kid.
Harper and I continued to talk a little longer about how sports can keep you out of trouble when growing up. He dropped this nugget for our younger readers to remember:
“You can put your energy to good use (sports) or to other uses (finding ways to get in trouble).”
Growing up, Harper had a few heroes in sports. In baseball, Ken Griffey Jr, while in football he was drawn toward Cowboys great Emmit Smitth. He went on to say that he regrets not being able to grow up watching Chicago Bears great Walter Payton.
His favorite teams were the Dallas Cowboys and Florida State Seminoles.
TS: What has the transition from the college to the NFL been like with not having to go to classes and being able to put 100% of all your focus on actually preparing for football games on Sunday? What’s been the biggest difference?
Harper: “The biggest difference is just being amongst men….in college everybody is pretty much the same age. Everybody probably went to the same party that weekend, or has the same problem with a teacher. We all have a lot in common.
“In the NFL, you might have a guy that just got traded in or you might have a guy that is just older and doesn’t mentor a lot of guys. Then you have people with a wife and kids and our conversations would just be a lot different.”
After hearing his answer, I commented that most people would comment on the speed of the game or the size of the playbook, which is still a big factor.
Harper: “Oh yeah, definitely! I’m grateful to have Ahmard Hall and Chris Johnson and the supporting cast of the running backs to help me break it down a little easier and just kind of go through it instead of having it all in one lump sum in front of me like: ‘here’s the playbook, now read it’, ya know?
Harper later continued to mentioned how helpful Hall, Johnson and Ringer have been to helping him learn the Titans offense. Keep in mind that it can take years to fully understand an NFL offense and the Titans, unfortunately, installed a new offense during the year that will forever be known as “The Lockout”.
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