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July 21, 2010ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - There is chatter around Miami's program about an ACC championship and even playing for a national title and quarterback Jacory Harris said it's not just talk. With him, the running backs, wide receivers, offensive line and defense all in place, the Hurricanes are back in a big way.
"We said it before when we were 5-7 we said we're going to win a national championship but at the same time it wasn't that realistic," Harris said Wednesday at the EA Sports Elite 11.
"It was something you were hoping you'd do. The team we have now is a great group of guys, excellent o-line, receivers, running backs, defense, we have everything we need and all we have to do is build that team chemistry which we're about 90 percent done with and we'll be a top contender for that national title."
That type of talk is welcome news to Teddy Bridgewater, who's also working out at the Elite 11, mainly because he's a Miami commit but also because he and Harris share the bond of being quarterbacks at Miami Northwestern, a national powerhouse.
After years of slipping and sliding, the Hurricanes are contenders once again in the ACC and some believe they have a chance at being one of the nation's best teams. Those lofty goals make Bridgewater proud and excited to be a future player there.
"I take a lot of pride in that because back then Miami was known for winning every year or winning streaks, there is a lot that goes into it," Bridgewater said. "It has become real because those guys work so hard day-in and day-out, two-a-days, and giving their all to bring Miami back on top."
Harris and Bridgewater both said they talk a lot about transitioning from high school football to college ball, especially from Miami Northwestern, where the spread offense and passing game rule, to the Hurricanes where it's a more traditional offense, under center with many more running plays.
What makes Harris especially pleased is that Bridgewater is willing to listen, willing to learn, willing to accept the advice given - and that makes Harris confident that when he leaves Miami and Bridgewater is in line to take over things will work out well.
It's also especially pleasing to Harris that a quarterback pipeline from Miami Northwestern to the Hurricanes has come together.
"It does a lot for the community, it does a lot for our high school and it does a lot for our university," Harris said. "It shows the hard work and dedication Miami Northwestern has and it's a great pipeline. Right now we're trying to start a new pipeline of quarterbacks.
"We're known for having great athletes, great receivers and skill guys but there never have been great quarterbacks that have come from Miami Northwestern. That's what we're trying to do now.
"Teddy Bridgewater is someone that's amazing. He followed in my footsteps and broke some of my records and did the things he needed to do and we're here together now."
Bridgewater, rated as the fifth-best dual-threat quarterback by Rivals.com, has been solid through three Elite 11 workouts but he's even better during game competition or 7-on-7s like the recent NIKE 7on Tournament in Beaverton, Ore.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound recruit helped lead Miami Northwestern to its second-straight 7on title, an impressive feat since it's such a loaded tournament. Bridgewater hopes that type of success can carry over to his senior season and then beyond - following Harris with the Hurricanes.
"Even though we didn't take that many guys, they put all their egos aside," Bridgewater said. "Me and Eli (Rogers) are going to the University of Miami, we threw that out the window for that event and just played Northwestern football. We weren't worried about the future. We're worried about right now going into the season."
Harris said: "The things I say to him are just focus and stay the type of person you are. He has a great personality, he knows how to have fun and he's a very humble kid. As long as he stays that way and takes it to college he's going to go a long way."