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Virgen's View: Mr. Irrelevant will be 'Harnishing'

April 28, 2012|By Steve Virgen
  • Chandler Harnish, a quarterback out of Northern Illinois University, is Mr. Irrelevant XXXVII.
Chandler Harnish, a quarterback out of Northern Illinois… (courtesy of Northern…)

Chandler Harnish is compared to Tim Tebow on his draft profile at NFL.com because both are dual-threat quarterbacks.

Harnish, out of Northern Illinois University, says he's a different type of QB, not as big. But there are some similarities. Both aren't ashamed of their religion. They are Christian.

You know about Tebowing, the dropping to a knee and praying that the New York Jets quarterback made popular when he was with the Denver Broncos. There's also Harnishing. That's when you point to the sky after a touchdown or a great feat.

Harnish can do some Harnishing now, and he just might be doing it in Newport Beach in June. He was selected No. 253 and dead last by the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL Draft, thus becoming Mr. Irrelevant XXXVII.

The Colts began the draft on Thursday by making the three-day event's worst-kept secret official and took Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. They ended it with another quarterback, who is not so sure about all this irrelevant talk and jokes about the underdog.

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How does he feel to be Mr. Irrelevant and play behind Luck?

"It feels good to be on an NFL team," he said in a phone interview shortly after Mr. Irrelevant creator Paul Salata announced the final pick in New York. "I met Andrew Luck at the NFL combine. He is a great player and a better person. My job is to compete for the job. I'm going to make him a better player. Drew Stanton is there and I'm there to make him a better player. Who else do they have at quarterback on their roster? I'm going to make him better too. I'm going there to compete."

Confident. There's a reason for that, rather several reasons.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Harnish had a crazy good career with the Huskies. He set 30 Northern Illinois passing, rushing and total offense records in four years as the Huskies' starting quarterback. This guy was no joke.

He led NIU to a 22-5 record in his final two seasons as a starter. Last season, he threw for 3,216 yards and 28 TDs and ran for 1,379 and 11 touchdowns. Yes, a lot of Harnishing.

He was just the fourth player in Football Subdivision history to pass for at least 2,500 yards and rush for 1,200 in a season. Texas' Vince Young, Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick were the others.

He was the first quarterback in Huskies' history to lead Northern Illinois to four straight bowl games.

It doesn't stop there.

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