Last spotted in a sad and poignant appearance as a fan in the North end zone of the Rose Bowl wearing his Oregon jersey, Cliff Harris is training for the NFL Combine and a Pro Day at a sports performance clinic in Indianapolis, St.Vincent Sports Performance.
Harris is working out at the St. Vincent's facility with 15 other NFL hopefuls, including 1700-yard rusher Ronnie Hillman of San Diego State, and Tyler Shoemaker, a 6-1 wide receiver from Boise State who caught 62 passes for 994 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Broncos last season.
Kash will be working with former NFL players and coaches, including two-time Super Bowl Champion Roosevelt Colvin, who leads the on-field skills program. Joining Colvin for football-specific training are former players defensive back Jeff Burris, offensive lineman Ray Donaldson, wide receiver Darvell Huffman, former Purdue star quarterback Mark Herrmann and tight end Ken Dilger.
St. Vincent's is a crash course in remaking the mind and body for the NFL. Their program includes nutrition, weight training and psychological counseling. It's fiercely comprehensive.
They employ 65 nationally certified athletic trainers and 12 certified strength and conditioning specialists. They also have two licensed sports psychologists and a registered sports dietitian and 19 doctors. It's a serious deal. SVSP trains athletes for the NFL, NBA and the Olympics. Picture Gattica with a better brochure.
The official invite list for the NFL combine will be released in late January. So far three Oregon players have official tickets, tight end David Paulson, linebacker Josh Kaddu and safety Eddie Pleasant. LaMichael James is a lock to be invited, and Darron Thomas has a strong chance. If Harris falls short of his bid to get an invite, St. Vincent's hosts a Pro Day inlate February, the first official one of the scouting season, well attended by NFL scouts.
Oregon's memorable, mecurial defensive back still has a shot at redemption and reclaiming his dream. If he pays attention and applies himself in this intensive training camp setting, talent and desire can win out over immaturity.
The Duck Stops Here is working on getting an exclusive interview with Harris about his preparation and the experience of losing his scholarship at Oregon.