KFFL Interview: Justin Harper, WR, Virginia Tech

by Michael Egnak on March 10, 2008 @ 15:16:02 PDT

 


At 6-foot-4, 204 pounds, Virginia Tech wide receiver Justin Harper is one of the bigger receivers in this year's upcoming draft. Averaging more than 15 yards per reception in each season with the Hokies, Harper found the end zone a career-high five times in 2007 while setting other career highs in receptions (41) and receiving yards (635). Harper interviewed with KFFL.com Friday, March 7.

Table: Justin Harper - Virginia Tech - Career Statistics (2004-07)

Year
G
Rec
Rec Yds
Avg Yds/Rec
TDs
Lg
2004
11
5
84
16.8
1
34
2005
13
16
295
18.4
1
43
2006
13
21
324
15.4
1
49
2007
14
41
635
15.5
5
48

Mike Egnak: Have you met with many teams at this point?

Justin Harper: Well I was at the NFL Combine, that's an opportunity for all 32 teams to speak with someone. So I've met with quite a few teams.

ME: Which teams do you think were showing the most interest in you?

JH: I never could tell, because a lot of teams they said they say a lot of things to other people. One guy was telling me you never know until draft day. One guy told me he was talking to so many teams, and he never talked to one team and they ended up drafting him on draft day. So you never know.

ME: Any ideas on where you may go in the NFL Draft?

JH: I have no clue. Wherever God blesses me with, I'm more than happy to take the job.

ME: Any teams or areas of the country you would like to play in the most?

JH: I'm from a small town in North Carolina, so like I said, where God was to put me at, I'm all for it. I'm ready to bounce all across the United States if I got to go all the way to the West Coast. North, south; wherever I got to go, that's where I got to work.

ME: How do you think you performed during the East-West Shrine game?

JH: I think during the week I really showed my talents. I really showed teams that I could stretch the field and I can make the catches. Throughout the week, I think I played good. The game didn't go as well as I wanted because we lost. I think I dropped one and caught one, so I was very pleased.

ME: How do you feel you performed at the NFL Combine?

JH: I was pleased at the Combine as well, because I ran like a low-4.5 [40-yard dash], I weighed in at like 213 [pounds], and I caught a lot of balls and ran a lot of good routes.

ME: Are you working on anything for your Pro Day?

JH: I'm actually working on catching more balls and running more routes. The cone drill and things of that nature. I don't put more work on my running game because I don't think it will hurt me. If anything, I think I can get faster.

ME: Are there other aspects of your game that you feel still need work?

JH: Getting in-and-out of my breaks. Separation at this level is a big deal, and that's one of the things I have to continue to work on.

ME: What do you feel you could bring to an NFL team?

JH: I feel like I can bring enthusiasm to the locker room. I feel like I can make plays on the field to help us win.

ME: What type of offense do you feel you would fit into most?

JH: Coming from Virginia Tech, we run the ball a lot. With me being a receiver, when the opportunity presents itself you have to take full advantage of it. Any team in the NFL willing to take a chance on Justin Harper, I'm going to give them everything I got. Whether it's blocking or in the catching game, I'll be pleased wherever.

ME: Do you think your size will give you an advantage over other receivers in this year's draft?

JH: I'm hoping so. There's a lot of great talent out there, you have a lot of fast guys. So it depends on what teams want, if they want a fast, speedy guy or if they want the bigger guy. So we'll just wait and see.

ME: You are labeled by a lot of evaluators as a possession receiver. Does that bother you?

JH: Oh no because like I said, coming from a Virginia Tech offense where they're basically run-oriented and we do things a little different around here, I kind of looked at myself as a possession receiver that could make big plays. That goes for all of us, all the receivers here. They want to label me a possession receiver, that'd be great. I'm happy to be a possession guy on your team that can make big plays.

ME: Who do you feel that your game most resembles at the pro level?

JH: I got a lot of work to get to those pro guys. That's why they're professionals and I have aspirations to getting there. You want to have the physical abilities of T.O. [Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens], want to be able to stretch the field like Randy [New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss] and catch the ball like Chad [Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson]. There's a lot of people that you want to be like.

ME: Have you reached out to any former Hokies for advice during this whole process?

JH: [Houston Texans wide receiver] Andre' Davis has been a great help. He's a great guy and leads by example, because he's been doing it ever since he left here.

ME: Did he give you any tips on how to handle the NFL Combine or your Pro Day?

JH: Oh yeah, he just told me to be me. Just go in there and relax. They want to see me do what I do best, and that's run routes and catch footballs, run and do drills. Just go up to teams and be you, and the Lord will take care of the rest.

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About Michael Egnak

Michael Egnak is a Hot Off The Wire Analyst at KFFL and has been with the company since 2005. Covering both NFL and MLB, Egnak is also a key contributor to KFFL's fantasy services.

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