One of Mike Yurcich’s former quarterbacks — his best former quarterback actually — agreed to talk a little bit about his former coach for you guys today. I think you’ll enjoy some of the stuff he has to say.
Trevor Harris is his name and he was a two-time finalist for the D2 Heisman at Edinboro. He continued his career in the NFL with the Jaguars and Bills and currently plays in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts (we have a CFL team to root for now!)
Thanks again to Trevor for his time…
Kyle Porter: First of all, how do you say his name.
Trevor Harris: Yer-sich
KP: What makes him unique?
TH: His knowledge of the game and his passion are the two things off the top of my head that really separate him.
I’ve played in the NFL, the CFL, the UFL, and the Arena League and coach Yurcich and I are pretty close and we talk pretty frequently in the offseason and just talk football — we’re on the phone for 8-9 minutes at a time sometimes, just to talk football.
It didn’t matter what system I was in, he was able to speak that language.
It was a pleasure getting to work with him because the best thing about him is he’s a great teacher, he teaches the game very, very well. I believe he developed me into the player I became, so if I had to say three it would be his teaching, his knowledge of the game, and his passion.
KP: Who did he look up to as a coach?
TH: I’m not really sure. I know he played football at Cal Penn but we never really talked a whole bunch about that. I was just amazed with his knowledge to begin with, we’re always constantly talking to each other, saying ideas and everything.
KP: So during a game you’re going back and forth, what kind of stuff did he do that set him apart as a coach?
TH: I told him when I was with the Jaguars, I called him and said ‘you belong here, your mind for the game, you belong in the NFL.’
He does a great job of in-game adjustments — he’d come in at halftime and draw up four or five plays immediately and say ‘hey we got this, we got this, when we’re in this formation, this down and distance, with this personnel we tended to get this and this.’
I’d go back on the field and he was spot on.
Like I said, it was a pleasure getting to know and learn from him because he taught me a lot of interesting things about the game. He taught me the game of football.
KP: Do you have any idea how he got hooked up with Coach Gundy or Oklahoma State?
TH: I don’t. The thing I kind of relate it to is you look around at coordinators around the country and what he did at Shippensburg, taking a Wing-T offense, before he got there they were a Wing-T offense, and converted it to a spread and made them into a national power, with a spread. In two years!
That’ something you can’t ignore so props to Coach Gundy for finding him and stepping out of a comfort zone.
People talk about people like Tom Brady being a late-round draft pick and people saying ‘what are you doing drafting a quarterback that late’ — nobody’s questioning it now. In a few years I don’t think anyone will question a move like this because I think you found a diamond in the rough with coach Yurcich and I think he’s going to do a phenomenal job there.
KP: Do you think he can be or wants to be a head coach someday?
TH: I’m not sure, I know this is like a dream for coach Yurcich right now. He’s very excited, he’s on cloud nine right now, I don’t think he could be any happier. He’ll do a great job.
KP: We’ve had a couple guys in Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken who were straightforward/intense guys, what’s his style?
TH: I actually played for coach Monken when he was in Jacksonville so I know him, he’s a great guy. Personality-wise I’d say they’re similar guys — they’re both young guys, they both have a real hard passion for the game, they both know the game really, really well, they both have a good amount of experience calling plays.
Coach Yurcich is a guy who’s the same guy every day. Every time I’d come in his office he’d put his hand at eye level and just go across and say ‘you gotta be right there all the time, you can never be too high, you can never be too low.’ That’s how he likes to coach.
KP: Is he a trick play guy?
TH: He does a little bit of everything. He’s not afraid to take shots. If you watched some Shippensburg film you’d see he’s not afraid to take shots. When I was playing here I’d go in the office on Monday to catch a little bit of early film and he’d come in and say ‘you ready for this?’
And he’d stand up and get all excited and draw up a couple plays. He’s an exciting guy, there’s going to be no shortage of fireworks in Stillwater next year.
KP: Who’s the best player you ever played with?
TH: Maurice Jones-Drew or Marcedes Lewis. Lewis is a pretty special dude, he’s 6’8 and he was pretty awesome.
KP: Give me your best coach Yurcich story.
TH: Coach Yurcich was told to keep some players, that were not in at the time, back 15 yards behind the huddle.
The head coach got mad at the players because they were too close to the huddle and told Coach Yurcich to keep them back again…they crept up again and the head coach told the players to “get em choppin”..
Yurcich thought he was talking to him since he didn’t keep them back and he started chopping his feet. The head coach then told him that he wasn’t talking to him. It was a pretty funny moment.
You can follow Harris on Twitter here…