Harmon to play in Cleveland

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 7, 2008

DENVER — Jason Harmon turned 26 last Thursday and celebrated on Friday night. If he has more celebrations like that, he might have even more cause to celebrate in the future.

Since turnovers are crucial in Arena Football, Harmon forced two fumbles including one that rolled out of the end zone for a touchback that halted a Los Angeles scoring drive.

His efforts helped Colorado beat Los Angeles and not only gave the Crush a 2-3 record, but also gave coach Mike Daily his 100th career win.

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It also continued Harmon’s quest to eventually earn a spot on an NFL roster.

“It was a late (birthday present), but it was a perfect one because we were coming off a three-game losing streak. We’re going to get this thing turned around,” said Harmon.

Harmon will be coming home — well, almost home — this Friday when the Crush visit the Cleveland Gladiators, a team owned by former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar.

“I can’t wait. I’m going to have some family members and some friends. I’m excited,” said Harmon.

In his second year with Colorado, the 6-foot, 205-pound Harmon has been enjoying an outstanding season. The Crush have used Harmon not only on defense but as a running back in goal line situations and on kick returns.

“I’m used to that coming from high school, so it wasn’t that new to me,” said the former All-Ohio defensive back and running back for the Ironton Fighting Tigers.

“I was actually excited to do those things like run the ball and return kicks. It helps if NFL teams see that they see you’re capable of more than one position. It looks good on my resume.”

Harmon was in the Chicago Bears’ training camp two years ago and was among the final players cut. He has spoken with several NFL teams including Green Bay about attending a camp this summer.

“My agent (Green Bay) was one of the teams that were interested last year and we’re trying get back,” said Harmon.

A strong run defender in high school and at Michigan State where he was the team’s top tackler two or out three seasons, Harmon signed with the arena league to work on his pass coverage.

“It’s helping a lot. The ame is a lot faster because the field is so much small,” said Harmon.

“It’s good to be playing and to be active and not sitting around and doing nothing.”

Harmon likes playing in the Arena Football League, but he his goal remains making it in the NFL.

“It’s as awesome as it goes in the NFL. Hopefully it works out. If not, I’ll stay here. I’ll play as long as I can play,” said Harmon.

“This time around I’ll have a little experience and I’ll know what’s going on. I can pick the right team. We just made the wrong decision the last time. I felt my performance was more than good enough, it was just the team I was with.”