NFL Draft Q&A: Louisville WR Harry Douglas

WR Harry Douglas (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Louisville's Harry Douglas was the leading receiver in the Big East and ranked third in the nation with 115.9 receiving yards per game. He talked to Scout.com's Ed Thompson about his college career, what makes him so effective as a receiver, and much more in this exclusive interview.

Ed Thompson: Let's talk a little bit about your career at Louisville, because I think you've got one of the interesting stories of this draft.  You've got just 19 starts under your belt, but you had a tremendous impact on the passing attack of Louisville.  Talk about your career.

Harry Douglas: I redshirted my freshman year in 2003.  I was pretty average at that point, but I became more dedicated to the game.  I had a coach that worked with me, so I caught a lot of balls, ran extra routes and a lot of things that could better me.  I worked harder my sophomore year and I started getting to play a lot, and that made me work harder in the weight room and even harder towards becoming a great receiver.  I had a great junior year, but we also had a great season, winning the Orange Bowl.  Then my senior year, I knew I would have to work harder because I knew a lot of people would be gunning for me because of what I accomplished in my junior year.  And I didn't want to be a player that everyone thought just had one great year and then I was never heard of again.  I wanted to live up to expectations and do everything that people thought that I was going to do for a second year.  So I worked hard during my senior year to make sure I stayed at that level. or got better.

Thompson: You certainly are to be congratulated.  You finished second in both Louisville and Big East history with 2,924 receiving yards.  Out of all the things you accomplished at Louisville, is that one of your top accomplishments that you look back on with pride?

Douglas: Yes sir, that's one of them.

Thompson: What else stands out as you look back on your career?

Douglas: I think my junior year I had the most yards ever in Louisville history in one season.  I tied the Orange Bowl record my junior year for most receiving yards and catches. And our team winning the Orange Bowl, period.


Harry Douglas catches a pass in full stride.
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Thompson: You had a right ankle sprain in the fourth game of your senior year against Syracuse.  How much do you think that limited you from having an even bigger season overall your senior year?

Douglas: I think it did a little bit.  I know I came back early from the injury. That was my first time missing games in my career, period — the first time ever being hurt like that.   I just wanted to get back on the field and try to help my team win more football games and compete. So I came back about two weeks early.  I was still kind of sore, but I was just sucking it up and giving it my all to help my team win.

Thompson: You have terrific speed and I think what makes you so dangerous once you get off the line of scrimmage is that it's tough for guys to keep up with you.

Douglas: I think the main thing is my first step.  My first step is so quick going off the line, and then I have the speed to accelerate and run by you.  My first step is probably quicker than a lot of people think it is.

Thompson: You're the kind of guy that will also lay yourself out for the ball.  You aren't afraid to do that, and yet you've been very fortunate with injuries.  Since you've had the ankle sprain, has that made you any more tentative about having to throw your body out where you need to make the catch?

Douglas: No, there were some games we had after I had the injury.  I didn't care and it didn't matter.  The ball was in the air and I was going to try and go get it.

Thompson: Talk about your leadership out on the field.  I've had the opportunity to talk to you in person and I can tell from your personality why people respect you and enjoy being around you.

Douglas: I try my best.  I try to bring confidence to my team because I always say the best way to go into a game is to go into it with confidence.  I'm the person on the team who is always getting people up, people feed off of my energy.  Different people you've got to push different ways.  I'm a vocal leader, but at the same time you have to lead by your play. 

Thompson: I know you approach the game seriously, but it's also very obvious that you're a guy who has an awful lot of fun playing this game, aren't you?

Douglas: Yeah, I love to play the game.  I love the limelight.  I'm serious about winning, but I laugh a lot out while I'm out there.  I just love the game, period.  I love being around the game of football.

Thompson: I think one thing the Senior Bowl reinforced is that when it was game time and clutch time you were there to make that big 23-yard reception that helped setup the winning score.

Douglas: We were on the 5-yard line and those are the kind of situations I love.  I know a lot of people probably wouldn't want to be in those situations — down by a couple points and you have to drive 95 yards — but I perform great under pressure, so I love those kinds of moments of a football game.


Harry Douglas makes a diving catch to set up a Louisville touchdown.
AP Photo/Garry Jones

Thompson: What are you most excited about when you look back on your performance at the Combine?

Douglas: My route running.  That's the one thing that I take pride in.  I can get in and out of breaks and cuts going full speed and without having to chop my steps.  I try to get out my breaks well and come back to the football and catch it well with my hands.  Also my three cone, because I had the best three cone out of everybody at the Combine, so I was really excited about that.

Thompson: You had the opportunity to work with a terrific quarterback in Brian Brohm.  Why is Brian going to be successful at the NFL level?

Douglas: He's a student of the game and a very smart quarterback.  He has a great personality and he understands what it takes to be a quarterback.  He has all the tools to be a great quarterback at the next level.  As a receiver you always want a quarterback who is going to lookout for the receiver, and I think he does a great job of that.

Thompson: During those drills at the Combine you had some opportunities to catch some passes from some of these other top quarterbacks.  Was there anybody else that really stood out to you, where they threw a ball to you and you went, "Wow, that was a nice throw."

Douglas: Joe Flacco. His ball came with a lot of velocity and at the same time it was accurate.

Thompson: You know there's one black mark on your brilliant college career that we have to talk about. During your 2005 season you threw one pass and it was intercepted.

Douglas: [laughing] I was the holder for field goals.  The snap got away from me and I rolled out to pass.  He was open and I threw it, but the guy who was covering came over and his vertical had to be at least 44 to 45 inches. He jumped up real high and stayed up in the air. Brian (Brohm) gives me stuff about that all the time, too [laughs].

Thompson: You know that ruined any chance you might have had of being a quarterback...

Douglas: Yeah, [laughs] my quarterback days are over.

Thompson: Is there anything I haven't asked you that you want the fans to know about you?

Douglas: My brother and I are best friends.  A lot of people probably don't know that I have a little brother who starts at point guard for Florida State and is one of the best point guards in the ACC.  A lot of people don't know that we're best friends.  We talk every day and I support him all the time.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.

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