COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina defenders know what it’s like to bring down sophomore running back Kevin Harris.
It’s an experience most can easily recall.
“When Kevin first stepped on campus, we called him ‘The Bus,’” Gamecocks junior offensive lineman Eric Douglas. “Last year, everybody didn’t really get to see that. But now this year, everybody’s seeing it.”
The 5-foot-10, 225-pound Harris has done his part to make a name for himself this season as the Gamecocks' starting running back. So far this year, Harris leads the team with 326 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 56 carries. He also has nine catches for 65 yards and a receiving touchdown, which makes him the team’s fourth-leading receiver after three weeks of play.
As good as Harris has been for the Gamecocks' offense, he understands the bar that was set for him and other running backs in the program by guys like Marcus Lattimore and George Rogers.
“It means a lot to me,” Harris said when asked about being the next guy in line. “I get a chance to run the ball every day. It’s a great university. So, it’s an honor.”
Now, Harris understands no one is asking him to do exactly what Lattimore or Rogers did for this program. Instead, he’s doing everything he can to contribute to the success of this offense.
“In the meeting room, whether he’s socializing with friends, whether he’s on the practice field, whether he’s in a walkthrough, he’s dialed in,” said Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp. “He’s paying attention, he’s extremely bright, he competes at a high level for a young player, consistently well. There’s not a lot of ebb and flow, up and down in his play and in what he does.”
In terms of his performance, Harris has been the model player in terms of his consistency for the Gamecocks. It’s Muschamp’s hope that the team can find similar consistency at every position.
“We’ve got to be able to depend on guys we can depend on and we can’t depend on the undependable players,” Muschamp said. “When you don’t know what you’re going to get with a player, that’s what happens on any given Saturday. You put the ball on the ground at that position, you don’t play. So, I think there are things that he consistently does well for us and he’s talented.”
In the last two games, Harris has rushed for more than 100 yards for the Gamecocks. Even with that early success, Harris has no plans to rest on his accomplishments.
“I’ve still got more to get done,” he said.
South Carolina will host Auburn at Williams-Brice at noon on Saturday.