Wide receiver Marcus Harris, having an impressive training camp with the New York Giants, has begun hearing chants of 'Soooooup' from fans during practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. He says that "pretty dope." More importantly, though, Harris has begun to hear the coaching use his name -- and his nickname -- more often.
Harris has had the nickname 'Soup' since high school days. As a member of the Giants practice squad a year ago nobody called him 'Soup.
"They called me Harris. 18, 18. Who is that?" Harris said. "Now everybody calls me that, even some of the coaches. It's pretty cool."
Harris had four catches for 49 yards in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game against the Buffalo Bills. He has taken advantage of the absences of Odell Beckham and Jerrel Jernigan from practice this week to take first-team reps, and impress while doing do.
"He is a tough kid. He has some nicks but he is out there every day, he works hard at it, he can go on special teams, he caught the ball well yesterday, as you saw, and he is usually in the right spot," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "to be able to come in and be focused, work hard, to stay out there day in and day out and be persistent the way this young man has done, that is a good thing."
Harris, 25, is a 6-foot-1, 187-pound receiver from Murray State. He went undrafted and has been bouncing around looking for a break since. He spent time with the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans, and did stints in the UFL and Arena Football League before joining the Giants practice squad last season.
Harris said he knows the game against the Bills gave him "a big boost" in his effort to make the Giants' 53-man roster. With Beckham Trindon Holliday not practicing at all and Jerrel Jernigan missing much of the week, Harris's chances of making the roster improve every time he is able to get on the field.
"I don't feel pressure because in the league I'm a professional receiver. I believe it's expected that if I'm with the ones, I expect to play like the ones. But it felt really good. It helped my mindset a lot. Being undrafted and being on the practice squad last year, being able to get the shot to run with the ones is very important to me," Harris said. "I dreamt about it every day, but I treated my practice squad reps like they were game reps so that hopefully one day I could get one-team reps like I did yesterday."
There are only four receivers who appear guaranteed roster spots -- Victor Cruz, Beckham, Jernigan and Rueben Randle. That leaves one or two spots for Harris, Holliday, Corey Washington, Mario Manningham and the other receivers to compete for.
Right now, Harris is making a strong case. He has even gotten to do some work returning kickoffs this week, a sure sign the Giants are looking at him seriously.
"I don't even know what to say because you dream about things like this and right now I feel like it's at my feet and I just need to keep going and going and get better," Harris said.
He gets another chance to impress the coaching staff Saturday night vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.