By P.K. Greenfield with Photography by Lenny Stucker
The ‘New’ New Yorker and Giants’ Wide Receiver Talks with Millennium Magazine
Standing at 5’ 10” and 202 lbs, Dwayne Harris’s demeanor is calm and cool, and for lack of a better word, smooth like a celebrity contender. He wears a pair of hipster glasses and a shock of braids atop his head that are strategically pulled back to the nape of his neck — he exudes confidence both on and off the field. If you ran into him on the street, you’d know he was in the big leagues simply by his stature.
The Wide receiver and Return specialist recently sat down with Millennium Magazine to fill us in on his new transition from the Cowboys to the Giants. “I was born in Atlanta, and played quarterback for Tucker High School in Tucker Georgia,” he says. His formidable years showed such great promise that he became an athlete to watch at East Carolina University. “Growing up in Atlanta was fun spending most of the time with my family or cousins. I got involved in sports when I was around 4-years-old. My mom and dad played sports so they wanted me to be involved in it as well.”
Dwayne was scouted by the Dallas Cowboys and drafted by the NFL in 2011. A major opportunity to start his career, he was positioned for the Cowboys as a receiver. It got off to a bumpy start but his focus, determination and time on the field got him noticed as well as awarded NFC Special Teams Player of the Week several times. In 2012, despite being active all season, it wasn’t until week 12 against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving, that he started to produce as a receiver, catching four passes for 71 yards. He finished second in the NFL in punt return average (16.1 yards).
During the 2013 season, Dwayne started to be used as a gunner on special teams and in the opening game against the New York Giants, his three coverage tackles and his effort in forcing one of the Giants’ six turnovers, earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, yet again.Forward pass to this year, he uprooted his life from Dallas and is planting himself firmly in NYC.
“On the one hand, the whole transition has been hard because I left a lot of family and friends in Dallas. However, so far it’s been good and I’ve made new friends. It’s the journey of life. They brought me in and I feel like I’ve been here for four years already. It’s been crazy because in the past The Giants were the competition and I am now part of the team. I’m enjoying the experience.”
His eyes widened and his posture became erect when asked what are the differences between playing for Dallas and New York.
“The biggest difference is that now I get to play a lot more Receiver so that I can show that I can be a Receiver in this league. When I was playing for the Cowboys, I was more of a special teams player.”
When asked how he psyches himself up before a game, he says, “Some days I listen to Rap, R&B and other days classical music — I mix it up. To keep in shape, I do a lot of running. I’m not a fan of lifting weights but the guys make me do it,” he laughs.
Off the field…
Giving back to the community is a major part of his career plans. From early on he has been dedicated to working with young kids; Dwayne has a soft spot and fondness for the Boys & Girls Club of America as well as the non-profit organization called Project Transformation.
“I tell young people, ‘to go for what you want to do in life’. I encourage them. I say, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something that you want’.”
Dwayne leaned forward and became more animated, “I helped the Boys & Girls Club rebuild the community pool in Texas with the help of Project Transformation After School Program, this group also promotes reading, I think it’s important. I’ve only moved here a few months ago but I am working with an organization called Wishful Thinking that helps under privileged kids.”
Pealing back the layers of the player, I asked him to tell me a secret and he admitted to watching cartoons and listening to country music. “Tim McGraw is my man.” He thinks his new teammates might find this all amusing.
Dwayne Harris is not the tallest Giant but he is certainly one to watch this season both on and off the field.