University of Kentucky senior strong safety Calvin Harrison had been mainly a backup to Marcus McClinton at free safety for three years before moving into a starting role this season. The Columbia, S.C., native had a key interception in the first half that jump-started Kentucky's 42-0 season-opening win over Miami (Ohio). Harrison spoke this week about his UK career.
Question: What's been the main difference in your play this year as opposed to the first three?
Answer: There was such good competition, I knew I had to step my game up to another level. Being a senior this year, I tried to become a leader and work hard and lead by example. This was my last year to try and do something, so I knew that if I wanted to make something happen, I had to come out and do it and try and help this team get better."
Q: Your interception against Miami came on an attempted flea-flicker that turned into a wounded duck. Were you worried about catching it?
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A: Oh, yeah. The ones that float in the air the longest are the hardest ones to catch. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't drop it.
Q: You played some receiver in high school. You returned the Miami interception 42 yards, but defensive coordinator Steve Brown teased you a little bit for not being able to take the interception all the way back for a score. Was it a little weird having the ball in your hands in the open field again?
A: I haven't had a chance to get the ball and pick up some yards since high school. When I saw the film of the game the next day, I saw a cutback lane that I probably would have hit back in the day, but maybe next time.
Q: You were the first commitment of UK's 2006 class. Joker Phillips said he found out about you from recruiting a couple of other high-profile prospects that went to your school (Richland Northeast in South Carolina). What made you jump on board?
A: When they offered, I came up to Lexington for the spring game my junior year. They said they had a lot of good things going. They were coming off probation, and they really felt like they were going to do something special. I wanted to be a part of that. We had one guy on my team go to Michigan and one to South Carolina. A lot of kids want to go to schools that are already up there, but I wanted to start something new at UK.
Q: How good can the UK secondary be this year, and what's it like playing back there with Trevard Lindley?
A: I think we can be one of the best in the nation, and having Trevard makes it so much easier. He can pretty much tend to his own out there. I know I can cheat a little bit knowing what Trevard can do by himself.