Return to TedSilary.com Home Page
Marvin Harrison Celebration Page
On Feb. 6, 2016, Roman Catholic grad Marvin Harrison ('91) was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
thanks to his marvelous, 13-season career as a wide receiver with the Indianapolis Colts. Congrats to Marvin!!
And here's hoping you enjoy this page.
Click here for pics (off the TV) of the induction ceremony.
| Perhaps the best hint of what would eventually happen was offered back on Sept. 9, 1988, when a 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore named Marvin Harrison made his varsity debut for Roman Catholic's football team in a non-league game vs. Wissahickon. |
The Cahillites entered that contest with a losing streak of 10 games and a winless streak of 22. But they won, 32-26, as Jim McGeehan hit Harrison for a 57-yard touchdown with 44 seconds remaining, erasing a 26-24 deficit.
In Tuesday's weekly notes column in the Daily News, I featured that game and interviewed McGeehan, whose brother, John, had been a star QB for Roman and was serving as a play-calling, up-in-the-press-box assistant to Roman's first-year coach, Ed Brodbine.
Here's what Jim had to say about Marvin, and the winning play: "What incredible speed. I just throw and let him run under it. I threw that last one as far as I could, and Marvin left the defender about 10 yards in the dust."
. . . Not the last time.
Marvin Harrison, who played his entire pro career with the Indianapolis Colts, last night was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He's the third city leagues product to earn that honor, following DB Herb Adderley (old Northeast, at 8th & Lehigh) and RB Leroy Kelly (Gratz).
In that game vs. Wissahickon, Harrison was not a one-play wonder. He caught six passes for 131 yards and two TDs, added a conversion catch and -- oh, almost forgot -- returned a first-quarter kickoff 81 yards for a score after Wissy tallied the game's first TD.
Because the Cahillites lacked a top-notch rusher, Marvin was not able to concentrate on receiving throughout his career. In fact, by his senior season in 1990, he was primarily a running back and caught passes rather infrequently.
Marvin drew major recruiting interest and I have vivid memories of football coaches coming to watch him play basketball, and commenting -- off the record, of course -- about how much they loved his overall athletic talent (he was the coaches' hoops MVP in the Southern Division in
Marvin Harrison breaks free in 1990 . . . Photo by Juana Anderson
1991) and how well it would serve him through the years.
After starring at Syracuse, Marvin was selected by the Colts in the first round (No. 19) of the 1996 NFL draft. He spent his entire, 13-season career with the Colts, and he partnered primarily with QB Peyton Manning.
Last night, I received assorted versions of Marvin's-in! texts from long-time website partners Ed "Huck" Palmer, Big Willie McGonigle and Amauro "Amar" Austin and it was great to know that their excitement level was right up there with mine. Thanks, guys. And major congrats to Marvin! . . . (Below are some stats/stories.)
-- Ted Silary, 2/7/16
| Marvin Harrison's High School/College/Pro Statistics -- Receiving |
(Including Playoffs/Bowl Games at All Levels)
| Marvin Harrison's High School/College/Pro Statistics -- Rushing |
(Including Playoffs/Bowl Games at All Levels)
|Top 5 Receiving Performances at Roman|
|Top 5 Rushing Performances at Roman|
|Marvin scored 36 total touchdowns -- 18 on rushes, 13|
|on receptions, 4 on kickoffs and 1 on an interception.|
|He added three converions and scored 222 total points.|
|Second team All-Catholic in the Southern Division at RB-|
|DB in '89; First team at both positions in '90|
|Third team All-City at the multipurpose position in '88;|
|First team at that position in '89 and '90; Co-Catholic|
|League Player of the Year in '90.|
| Basketball Scoring in League Action |
(Final Career Total: 1,166 Points)
|1989||CL Regular Season||14||113||8.1|
|1990||CL Regular Season||14||237||16.9|
|1991||CL Regular Season||14||238||17.0|
First Team All-Catholic Southern Division in '90 and '91;
MVP in '91; Second Team All-City in '91
Some stories from Marvin's high school career (football, basketball,
recruiting, working hard to become eligible) are below . . .
ROMAN'S HARRISON CUTS NEUMANN TO THE QUICK
Jan 21, 1989
By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
Marvin Harrison is so quick, he could run 15 yards in a thunderstorm and not get wet.
He is so quick, he could place a phone call from his house and answer - by the second ring, maximum - 10 doors away.
He is so quick, he renders that adjective inadequate when an attempt is made to describe him.
Ed Brodbine, Roman Catholic's football coach, said last season that Harrison, a 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore, "has a gear that nobody else has. "
Dennis Seddon, Roman's basketball boss, said last night of Harrison: "He's the quickest player I've seen at Roman. "
Again and again during the Cahillites' 87-64 Catholic South demolition of host St. John Neumann, Harrison treated the capacity crowd to speeding-bullet heroics.
If he wasn't flashing in the face of astonished opponents for steals, he was scampering down loose balls. If he wasn't blowing toward the basket for his own layups, or for drop-off passes resulting in teammates' layups, he was, well, scampering down more loose balls.
In 21 minutes as a substitute lead guard, wing guard and small forward, Harrison shot 6-for-10 and 4-for-4 for 16 points, dealt 4 assists, made 7 steals and even finished second among both teams' players in rebounds, with 9.
Now you don't see him. Now you still don't see him.
"Marvin's our main defensive sub," Seddon said. "He lifts us, coming off the bench the way he does. Sometimes we have to knock him back a gear depending on the situation, but most of the time it's 'Go, Marvin. '
"He's always a pest. In practice, too. If the ball's around loose, we just say, 'Marvin. Ball. ' "
Already, Harrison has become a much-discussed, and marveled-at, football player. As a running back, he scored 22 touchdowns for Roman's 1987 freshman team. As a slotback for the '88 varsity, he caught 42 passes for 744 yards and 7 TDs.
OK, kid. We realize that your scholastic career is, in some ways, just getting revved up, but which sport do you prefer?
"Basketball," Harrison said. "Football season gets too cold. About 50 degrees is fine. Once it goes below that, I don't play as well. No, it doesn't have to be freezing. "
According to Seddon, Harrison gave serious consideration last summer to becoming a basketball-only athlete.
"He was so involved with basketball, he was thinking maybe he'd just concentrate on that," Seddon said. "We talked to him. We explained that the more avenues he made open to college recruiters, the better off he'd be. By his football performance, he is proving that he can get there footballwise. By his basketball performance, he is proving that he can get there basketballwise. "
How about trackwise? Tenniswise? Swimmingwise? Tiddlywinkswise?
"Probably so," Seddon said. "He could probably do anything he wanted. He's very blessed. "
Harrison figures his quickness is better suited for basketball "because you don't have as far to run. It's mostly sudden bursts. "
After last night, Neumann probably figures that Harrison should be forced to play in cement sneakers.
"When I'm sitting there, I try to see who's scoring a lot of points," Harrison said. "I figure that's who coach Seddon is going to put me on. I don't study the guy too much. I just go out and play 'D.'
"When I double, it's usually when a guy has his back turned. I'll try to run to his blind side. "
Said Seddon: "When possible, we like to put Marvin on a guy he can get away from (while looking for steals), but recover to. Early, we had him on Damon Reid (18 points), but he was quick and a good penetrator, so we switched him. "
Roman's heroes were plentiful. Alan Watkins, a 6-5 forward bound for Duquesne, had 20 points (his career total is now 1,017), 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Bernard Jones, a 6-5 sophomore who splits time between center and forward, mixed 24 points and seven boards. Guards Mike McKee and Jim O'Rourke had six and four assists, respectively. Frontcourters Cliff Smith, Tyrone Bacon and Ruben Colon added solid, no-frills efforts.
The Cahillites led by as many as 17 points before ending the first half ahead 45-35. It was 65-53 after three quarters before an impressive display of suffocating defense, quick-paced offense and crisp passing made it 81-56 with 3:08 left.
"The big break came," Seddon said, "when we started helping defensively, and when we made the one extra pass to get better shots.
"Hey, Neumann is a very good team. A few breaks here, a few bounces there and God only knows. "
Eventually, of course, Marvin Harrison will have to know, and express, what he wants to do athletically in college.
"I'm going to try to stick with both sports until senior year," he said, ''then make a decision. "
All schools but the winner will be left cold.
HARRISON FINDS NEW WAY TO STAR
HALFBACK PASS LIFTS ROMAN
Nov 13, 1989
By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
Throughout his already-marvelous career, Marvin Harrison has shown he can run, catch, stick with authority and arrive from nowhere to break up passes.
Yesterday, Harrison, Roman Catholic's junior two-way back, got a chance to show he can throw.
With 4:22 left in a Catholic South semifinal at Villanova Stadium, Harrison roamed right from the tailback position and fired a 33-yard touchdown pass to a leaping, double-covered Ben Singleton, thus breaking a 14-14 tie and enabling Roman to down St. Joseph's Prep, 30-14.
The Cahillites, postseason winners for the first time since 1947, will play Monsignor Bonner in next Sunday's 1 p.m. division final at Villanova.
"I knew I had to complete that pass," said Harrison, who earlier had dropped two Jim McGeehan bombs. "I wasn't catching any passes; I got cracked real good once and it had me seeing double for a while. That was my last option - completing one. If no one was open I would have run it, and maybe made out just as well. But when I saw Ben down there, I knew I had to throw it. He came up with a great catch. "
As recently as three weeks ago, the halfback pass was not a part of Roman's playbook. Harrison then threw one - a 9-yard completion to McGeehan, no less - in a regular-season win over Bonner.
"We thought we saw something in earlier games," said coach Ed Brodbine. ''We'd only shown it once. Prep had to realize Marvin would be getting the ball in that situation (third-and-13, and would be pursuing hard). It was tied. We had to gamble. This year (Roman's 100th), I think God's a Cahillite.
"Marvin can throw the ball 60 yards. He flat-out drills it. We've got to utilize the talents we have. "
Singleton, who also doubled as an outside linebacker in Roman's 4-5 alignment, and who made the deflection when Prep gambled on fourth-and-2 from the 28 with 3:05 left, was unsure of his location when he jumped for his touchdown catch.
"I had no idea I was in the end zone," he said. "I saw the ball and went up. I knew there were two guys, but I knew I could outjump them.
"After I scored, Marvin ran down and said, 'You catch it, we win. You don't, we lose. ' Marvin doesn't throw ducks. He throws spirals. He's got a good arm. You know how it is, sometimes you need a little trick play. "
Earlier, Roman had received two touchdowns from Derek Keough (4-yard run, 60-yard screen pass) while the Prep had scored on Frank Costa's 1-yard pass to Andy Cobaugh and John Laumakis's 4-yard run. The second touchdown, with 10:40 left, was immediately preceded by a 78-yard Laumakis reception.
Overall, Costa completed 11 of 20 passes for 205 yards. His two lowest yardage outputs this season have come against Roman (also 201).
"We feel our defensive backs (Harrison, John Spino, Jermaine Wilson) are good enough to stop any passing team," said star linebacker Delano Benton, who unfurled a series of jolting hits. "But a guy like Frank Costa - you have to watch him extra special. We knew they'd try to offset the pass with a running attack and they hurt us a few times. Overall, we held them down well.
"This is great. The seniors have been working four years for the opportunity to play at Villanova. We didn't want to stop with one game. "
ROMAN'S HARRISON KNOWS BASKETBALL, BUT LOVES FOOTBALL
Feb 17, 1990
By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
Two months after football season, Marvin Harrison has made his most significant reversal of field.
Yesterday, after collecting 17 points, 3 assists and 3 steals as Roman Catholic muffled visiting St. John Neumann, 82-63, in a Catholic South marathon (51 personals produced 79 free-throw attempts), Harrison announced, in effect, that basketball is now just a hobby.
Harrison, who definitely knows athleticism, is intent on becoming a big- time football player.
"I want to be in great shape for next football season," he said. "I want to be really prepared. I don't want to disappoint them. "
"Them" was a reference to college recruiters, the guys who are currently taxing postal workers all across the land.
Harrison, a 6-1, 170-pound halfback, slotback and safety, received his first letter two weeks into his sophomore season. He said he now receives weekly, personalized correspondence from "about eight to 10" schools and has heard something, anything, from "40 to 50. " However, basketball coach Dennis Seddon says the number is "more like 90 to 100. "
"They come in bunches," Harrison said, sounding somewhat bewildered by it all. "I open them up, read them a little, but mostly I'm just waiting until basketball's over to see what I have.
"I see the same (school) names over and over, but I can't even think which ones (are constantly writing). I do know UCLA, Georgia, West Virginia, Rutgers . . . Can't remember the others.
"I don't know if colleges are allowed to call juniors or not, but even if they are" - he paused and smiled - "they don't have my new phone number. We just moved, to around Broad and Olney. "
In two varsity seasons, Harrison has caught 72 passes for 1,239 yards and 11 touchdowns. He played receiver almost exclusively as a sophomore, but last fall rushed 128 times for 747 yards and five scores. Where he truly scintillates is on defense.
Previously, the undercurrent at Roman was always that Harrison, who ranks in the top 30 percent of the junior class academically and maintains a 2.4 grade-point average, played football merely because he was expected to. He doesn't like it much, the party line would go. He wants to be a basketball player in college.
"I know my future's in football. I can see that," Marvin said. "I get high Division I letters for football, and lower Division I for basketball. I play basketball now because I like my coaches and teammates and because we have a lot of fun. We've had some great times on trips, like to Hawaii last season. "
Said Seddon, who has been following Catholic League sports since the late 1960s (first as a student): "I haven't seen a better pure athlete than Marvin and 'pure' is the key word there.
"At 6-1, and being able to do the things he can do, he's just so highly recruitable as a football player. That's not to say he won't get highly recruited for basketball, too, but we've always felt that his future's in football and that's the way we've been pushing him. Enough other people have said that, too, so that Marvin sees that that's the way to go. "
Otherwise yesterday, Roman was led by Bernard Jones (27 points, 15 rebounds), Mike Watson (12, 14) and Mike McKee (7 assists). Damon Reid led Neumann with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
HARRISON'S SHOT TRIGGERS CHAMPIONSHIP FOR ROMAN
Mar 12, 1990
By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
When Marvin Harrison plays offense in football, two people, minimum, are close enough to hear his every breath.
Yesterday, when Marvin Harrison played offense in basketball, at least in the final 0:59 of overtime in a vintage Catholic League final at the Palestra, he could have had 8-foot arms, he could have made like a helicopter and still, he would have hit no one.
True, Marvin Harrison , a 6-1, 170-pound junior from Roman Catholic, is not a dangerous jump-shooter.
But he is a marvelous athlete, and La Salle certainly paid the price for forgetting that fact.
After Roman's Mike Watson fashioned a spectacular block-rebound sequence on Keith Conlin to keep the OT scoreless, the Cahillites decided to hold for the final shot.
At 0:10, Harrison took a pass from point guard Mike McKee just beyond the foul line, beep-beeped down the left side of the lane virtually unmolested and, while soaring, banked in a lefthanded layup at 0:06.
The Explorers managed two shots in the final 0:03, after pushing the ball to halfcourt and calling time, but neither a "three" by Chris Lazorcheck nor a hurried follow by Ernie Koschineg, who had to rebound and shoot all in one leaping motion, would fall.
With the 64-62 win, Roman captured its second consecutive title and 10th in 22 years. The Cahillites (24-3) also became the first CL team since 1965 (Bishop Neumann) to storm through the regular season and playoffs unbeaten, and they'll take an 18-game winning streak to Frostburg (Md. ) State Thursday for the eight-team Alhambra Catholic Invitational.
"Before the playoffs," Roman coach Dennis Seddon said, "the word was getting back to us. 'Fourteen-and-oh and down they go. ' (Sub) Bill Dougherty said, 'Fourteen-and-oh and away we go. ' "
In the final 0:59, Harrison's defender John Butler continually backed up into the lane area, fearing a sneak-attack entry pass to the inside forces, Bernard Jones and Watson.
"I'd expect them to do that," Harrison said. "I wasn't doing much the whole game (seven points). They slacked off and forgot about me. "
As McKee dribbled to his right, he gave Harrison an eye-contact sign.
"Before my man left to double Mike, Mike gave me a look that said, 'Be ready. It's coming,' " Harrison said. "He gave me a great pass. The lane was open. I just wanted to get as high as I could and put the ball in the basket. "
No hesitancy about using his weaker hand?
"Nah," he said. "I write lefthanded. Bat lefthanded, too. "
Harrison, a halfback, slotback and safety, is one of four football players on Roman's basketball roster. Though Harrison is the only rotation player, the others - Dougherty, Jim McGeehan and George Jackson - wanted just as much revenge for La Salle's 13-0 win in the football title game Dec. 2.
"We had to get paybacks," Harrison said. "I went home that night and thought about the game over and over. I'll go home and think about this one, too. Nicer thoughts. "
Seddon said the Cahillites had dedicated the game three times over: to the football team ("For improving school spirit so much"); to the late Hank Gathers ("He worked out in our gym occasionally"); and to Agnes Leinheiser, the mother of former Cahillite Mike Leinheiser, a substitute guard in 1986.
"Mrs. Leinheiser was too sick to come," Seddon said. "This net is going right to her. "
Seddon then cited three dates that helped convince him that the Cahillites would at least win the South: Jan. 3, when they won at Reading, 68-56, before 4,000 fans ("That simulated Palestra pressure"); Jan. 6, the day after they defeated O'Hara by only 55-54 in the division opener ("We had a good 'rap' session. Aired a lot of things out"); and Feb. 26, when the South coaches did their All-Catholic voting.
Bernard Jones, who's averaging 18.5 points and 10.2 rebounds, finished an incredible ninth that night.
Yesterday, Jones shot 12-for-18 and 6-for-9 for 30 points, tying the title- game record set in 1988 by Monsignor Bonner's Brian Daly. He also grabbed 13 rebounds. Friday, he collected 22 points and seven rebounds as Roman won the South, 66-54, over Neumann.
"The South coaches helped us win the title," Seddon said, bluntly. ''Here's a kid who's heard from 104 schools; we've cut the number to 20. The main schools recruiting him, already, are La Salle, St. Joe's, Seton Hall, Maryland and Wake Forest. We can't control what (the division coaches) feel about Bernard, or his game. But the people who know basketball, the recruiters, know a good player when they see one. "
Jones's only comment on the snub was, "Look where they (coaches who voted) are. And look where we are . . . It did give me motivation. Very much so. "
In the first half, riding the hot shooting of Koschineg (who scored 16 of his 24 points), La Salle (17-9) built an 11-point lead. Roman closed the gap as the half ended, 37-30, and stormed to the first 10 points of the third quarter.
"Coach Seddon was mad," Jones said. "He said, 'Let's go out and show them who the real champs are. ' "
With 0:49 left in regulation, Koschineg circled around Conlin's healthy pick and nailed a "three," creating a tie at 62-62. Roman held for the last shot, but McKee's rushed lefthanded layup was no good at 0:04 and Watson failed on a follow.
Watson, a leaping 6-4 junior, had six points (and 18 total) in the final 4:35 of regulation, however, after returning from a 7 1/2-minute exile due to foul trouble. On Roman's final possession, Watson was an original option.
"It can be dumped low to Bernard, or me," he said. "When I saw Marvin start in, I thought he was going to lose his dribble. But he got there, quick."
RECRUITERS WOO CATHOLIC LEAGUE FOURSOME
Sep 13, 1990
By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
Keith Conlin and Joe Paterno go way back.
In February 1983, Paterno, Penn State's football coach, visited the Conlins' Glenside home to sign Keith's brother, Chris, then a standout lineman at Bishop McDevitt.
"I sat right next to him," Keith said of Paterno. "We were all at the dining room table talking. "
Keith, then a fourth-grader but now a 6-8, 265-pound defensive tackle for defending Catholic League champ La Salle High, was doing more than talking.
He was plotting, scheming, showing advanced entrepreneurial savvy.
Somehow, he milked about a half-dozen autographs out of Paterno.
"Then I took them to school and sold them," he said. "Got lunch money for them. "
This winter, the roles promise to be reversed. Paterno will seek Conlin's autograph. On scholarship papers.
Conlin is one of four Catholic League players being recruited - hard - by some of the more significant programs in big-time college football. The others are Roman Catholic's Marvin Harrison , a 6-1, 170-pound two-way back; Bishop McDevitt's Mark Zataveski, a 6-7, 275-pound offensive tackle and defensive end; and Archbishop Carroll's Ray Kane, a 6-4, 240-pound two-way tackle.
All of them are ranked among the finest prospects in the Delaware Valley, and their recruitment has been unusually intense for this stage of the season. The experience has been both unnerving and exhilarating, one they are likely never to forget.
"They know how to talk to you," Kane said. You'll talk to one school - I won't mention any names - and you'll be thinking, 'I love this place. That's where I want to go. ' Then, a couple days later, another school will call, maybe a place you hadn't thought about at all. He'll get finished talking and you'll be thinking, 'That would be a great place, too' . . . It's very hard to sort things out."
Keith Conlin, the sixth of eight children in a sports-crazed family (Chris is a backup tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, Craig was a basketball star at La Salle University and now plays professionally in Cyprus), already has received offers from Penn State and Rutgers. Eight other schools - Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Pitt, South Carolina, Syracuse and West Virginia - are remaining in close contact.
Harrison has generated interest, much of it intense, from 17 of the 25 schools that appeared in one wire-service's preseason national rankings. Among the most persistent suitors for now are Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame and Penn State. Tennessee, UCLA and West Virginia are right behind.
Zataveski has received phone calls from as many as nine schools in one evening. He ranks 10th in his class, carries a 93.3 average and has scored 990 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Alabama, Duke, Miami, Notre Dame and Penn State have extended invitations for official visits. Rutgers, Stanford and Syracuse likely will do so as well.
Kane opened his first piece of recruiting mail as a sophomore. He, too, is a model student: 94 classroom average, 1,000 on the SAT. This summer, he made unofficial visits to Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Syracuse. Next month, he will make one more, to Virginia. Official visits - the limit is five - will be made to Duke, Syracuse and, in all likelihood, North Carolina.
The recruiting process works like this: From now until Dec. 1, coaches are limited to phone contact with football players. From Dec. 1 through Feb. 11, a player may meet with a representative of each interested college once a week at his high school, and a total of three times away from his high school. None of those meetings may take place from Jan. 7 to 10, the dates of the national coaches' convention. The national signing period begins Feb. 14. Each Friday, and Friday only, during October and November, recruiters may visit high schools to speak with coaches, watch films and perhaps catch a game in person.
How frenzied does the process become? Very.
This summer, Harrison was speaking with a Notre Dame assistant on the private line in his bedroom.
"Marrrr-vin," called his mother. "Phone for you. "
Said Harrison: "It was the other line. My mom's phone. I got on, said hello. It was another Notre Dame assistant. I told him, 'Hey, I was just talking with one of your friends. ' "
According to the Coveted Quartet, the phone calls routinely last from 10 to 15 minutes, 20 tops. Most schools call about once a week. The coaches are universally glib.
"Pat Flaherty, he's my favorite," said Conlin, referring to a Rutgers aide. "He's a great guy. He tells it like it is. I love talking to him. It's like he's your best friend. "
Added Zataveski: "They say the same things. Ask the same questions. Sometimes, I'll write down the coach's name so I can remember who I'm talking to . . . If it's a hard name, at least. "
Largely because of the unending phone calls, Kane and his father, Ray, soon intend to begin narrowing the field.
"It's essential," Kane said. "With call waiting, things are getting messy.
"I hate to be rude, but I have to start turning people down. It's easier to listen to a coach when he's from a school you know you're interested in. With the others, it's hard. You listen to him talk and you go, 'Yes . . . all right . . . yes . . . uh, huh. ' You don't ask many questions. The interest isn't there."
Five months. That's how long each of them has to reach a decision. And at this point, none of them seems quite sure how he will do it.
For Zataveski, who plays varsity basketball (as do Conlin and Harrison), wears size 16 shoes and always has been the largest kid in his class, academics will play a large part in his decision. This year, he is taking no fewer than four honors courses - English, calculus, accounting and religion.
"Most people in their senior year take a lot of easy classes," Zataveski said. "This will be my hardest year. I'm looking for a challenge, something to keep me on my toes. Academics will always be there. Football won't last forever. That's something you have to think about. "
For some, football does not "last" even through college, at least to the fullest. In October 1986, Carroll's Mike Callan, a defensive tackle, became the first member of Notre Dame's recruiting class of '87 when he verbally accepted a scholarship. Entering this season, he is listed as a third-team defensive tackle and has seen action in just five games overall, all as a backup.
"I've heard from some people, who have inside sources out there, that Notre Dame likes me a lot," Kane said. "I'm going to hold on to them for a while. It has a great reputation for academics and football, of course, but I'd worry about getting lost in the crowd.
"I'm looking for a place where I can play early, but also a place where I can get a good education and a place that has a good reputation for success after graduation. The chances of becoming an NFL player can't be very high. I want to be able to do something afterward.
"To tell you the truth, one school that would thrill me (with a scholarship offer) is Virginia. They've sent tons of literature, but I haven't gotten any phone calls. "
In a way, being Chris Conlin's brother has worked to Keith Conlin's disadvantage.
Chris Conlin was an offensive-line starter for Penn State's national champs in the 1986 season. He saw limited action during the next three years for the Miami Dolphins before injuries to both knees eventually resulted in a release. He went to camp this summer with Indianapolis and has made the team as a backup.
"My coach, Mr. (Joe) Colistra, says he has about five West Coast schools that want to recruit me," said Keith, who has scored 860 on the SAT. "But they've told him, 'Would it be a waste of time? Is he a lock for Penn State? '
"I do like Penn State a lot, but my mind is open. I don't want to live in Chris Conlin's shadows. I want to make my own name. "
Harrison, who also is capable of earning a Division I basketball scholarship, is an average student. He has scored 650 on the SAT, 50 points below the NCAA minimum. He made no official visits this summer and played in only one basketball league, Total Response. Five days a week, he did painting and groundskeeping work at Roman's football field.
"I've heard from about 50 schools," Harrison said. "I've got so many posters, letters, media guides . . . There's no space in my bedroom for more. I just went through all the stuff, moved some of it to the basement.
In his first two years on Roman's varsity, Harrison caught 72 passes for 1,239 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was largely a slotback as a sophomore. Last year, mostly playing tailback, he carried 128 times for 747 yards and five touchdowns.
In Roman's opener Saturday, a 12-6 loss to Haverford School, Harrison rushed 18 times for 139 yards, caught four passes for 25 yards and returned two kickoffs for 35 yards. At safety, he made 19 tackles and added an interception and fumble recovery. At one point, a frustrated Haverford fan hollered, "We can't lose to these guys! It's a one-man team! "
He wasn't far off, especially from the skill-player standpoint.
"In football," Harrison said, "I've proved myself at three positions for three years, so it makes sense to back off from basketball. There's probably more of a future. But I have gotten basketball calls from Duke and Penn State.
"When the recruiters call, they ask you how things are going, what's new. They tell you something about their school, their program. They ask, 'Do you have any questions? ' I say, 'Do you have any more for me? ' They're the ones that have to make a decision about how hard they're going to recruit me, whether they're going to offer a scholarship. Anything they need to know, I'll tell them. "
Well, almost anything.
"Sometimes they'll ask, 'What other schools are calling you? ' " Harrison said. "I tell them, 'That shouldn't matter. You should worry about your own school. ' They say that's good. It makes sense.
"I have two tutors for the SAT, one for math and one for English. Everyone seems pretty confident I'll score 700. Two schools told me, I won't say which, 'If all else goes wrong, we'll gladly take you. There will be a scholarship for you. '
"That's nice. At least I know I'll have someplace to go."
ROMAN STAR HARRISON IS HEADED TO SYRACUSE
Jan 23, 1991
By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Opponents and recruiters, Marvin Harrison could handle.
But when his mother opted to apply extreme pressure, guess who was first to cry "uncle"?
Last night, Linda Harrison cornered her son, the star two-way back on Roman Catholic's football team, and screeched, "I want to know where you're going! Right now! "
"She had a real serious face," Harrison said. "She meant business. I said, 'I still don't know. ' So then, we got into about a five-minute argument, me and my own mom. She had to deal with most of the phone calls. Finally, I said 'OK, it's Syracuse. ' "
The 6-1, 175-pound Harrison, a tailback, slotback, wideout, return man and safety, last month was named the Back of the Year in connection with the Daily News All-Scholastic Team. In three varsity seasons, he gained 1,812 yards rushing and 1,454 yards receiving and scored 36 touchdowns.
Harrison's other visits were to Notre Dame, Penn State and Miami.
"It came down to staying home - by that, I mean reasonable driving distance - or going away," he said. "Syracuse is four hours away; well, maybe three with me driving. It seemed to have the best situation. They want me as an athlete. They'll worry about position later.
"When I went up there, I was the only recruit to visit that weekend (Nov. 9 to 11). Everyone seemed to like me. I still get regular calls from two of the players.
"I always wanted to attend Penn State, but the time's not right to go there now. I didn't feel comfortable about their situation, footballwise or socially. Believe it or not, I did give some serious consideration to Temple. But I wanted football that was a level or two up from there. "
If Harrison, who received help in the home-visit stage of recruiting from family friend Mallory Sanford, had decided to go far away, the pick would have been Miami.
"Of the others, I liked the situation there the best," he said. "People don't think of academics and Miami, they think of hoodlums. But it's a much better place than that. "
Harrison, who also stars in basketball, will again take the Scholastic Aptitude Test Saturday. He is very much within striking distance of the NCAA minimum of 700.
"There are two people I would really like to thank, if I can," Harrison said. "Two teachers at Roman - Mr. (Joe) Ferrero in math and Mr. (Bob) Durkin in English - have been giving up their lunch periods to tutor me for the SAT. I appreciate it. "
PLAYING IT SMART
HE HELPS ROMANS ATHLETES PREPARE FOR SAT
Apr 03, 1991
by Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
Despite what his lunches - crackers and water - might indicate, Joe Ferrero is not in prison.
He is deeply involved, however, in a fight to remove shackles.
Ferrero, 39, a math teacher at Roman Catholic, has been donating 40 minutes a day, as well as maybe 10 evening hours per month, to three Cahillite athletes - basketball stars Bernard Jones and Mike Watson and football- basketball franchise Marvin Harrison .
The goal: to help them surpass the NCAA minimum of 700 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test to ensure their eligibility as freshmen.
Jones, who has made an oral commitment to St. Joseph's, recently received great news. Thanks to an improvement of 100 points in math, he had blown past 700. Watson and Harrison, who needs 10 points, are hoping to hit the magic number soon.
Each day during his lunch period, Ferrero meets with Harrison and-or Watson (Jones no longer is involved) in the study hall, guidance office or library. He comes armed with a copy of an SAT given in 1988, as well as what he calls "strategy papers. "
At night, Ferrero sometimes drills the pair at Moylan Recreation Center, 25th and Diamond streets, where he moonlights for the Department of Recreation.
"If it's a slow night, with no special activities scheduled, they come in and spend a couple hours working on problems," Ferrero said. "It's not as rushed (as the school sessions).
"The strategy papers are geared to each kid's weaknesses. I'll make up eight to 10 questions dealing with percentages or ratios or triangles . . . If you spend time with them, you know where they need help. "
On the verbal side, the extra tutoring is handled by Roman teachers Dr. George Mecherly and Bob Durkin.
"I've always tutored kids for the SAT," Ferrero said. "Most have been non-athletes. It just so happened Bernard, Marvin and Michael were great athletes. They just happened to ask for my help. I'm a skinny, little guy. I don't need to eat much. When I'm tutoring, I'll have a cup of water and some crackers. Hey, I can give up a meal to try and help them out. It's no big deal, really.
"I try to put things in athletic terms. I tell them, 'I'm the coach, you're the players. I can give you advice, strategies and game plans, but you have to follow them. ' That's why they deserve the credit. They do the work.
"One thing I tell them is, the SAT is not a test to fear. It's a lot more intimidating to be hit in the ribs after catching a pass, or to try and get a rebound among a bunch of flying elbows. I say, 'There's nothing in this test that rivals those situations. You'd never go into a game thinking you're going to lose. So don't go into the test with negative thoughts, either.' "
HARRISON HURDLES SAT GOAL
ROMAN STAR ELIGIBLE TO PLAY AS FRESHMAN
Apr 04, 1991
by Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer
Marvin Harrison 's lightning-quick hands were never more in evidence than yesterday, when he returned home from school at Roman Catholic.
In the mail was a letter from Princeton, N.J., and the people who administer the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
"I saw that thing and, man, I ripped it open," Harrison said.
The news was good. Harrison, a standout football recruit bound for Syracuse University, had surpassed 700 on the SAT. Thus, the two-way back will be eligible to play as a freshman.
"I was stuck on 690. Two times, I got that," Harrison said. "This time I went to 740. Went up some in math, some in English. Being that close, going over was bound to happen.
"I can't say enough about Mr. (Bob) Durkin and Mr. (Joe) Ferrero, my tutors. They were always willing to give up their lunch period to help. All the Roman teachers, actually. Anywhere in the building I went, all I heard was encouragement. "
After Harrison saw the number, the first thing he did was call his mother, Linda, at work.
"She said she'd never been prouder of me," Marvin said. "Then I called back to Roman; I was so excited. I wanted to tell them. I reached Mr. (Ed) Graham in the alumni house (next door to the school) and, since then, I've just been sitting here on the phone, talking to people who called to congratulate me. From Mr. Graham, the word really spread."