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College football

Freshman Harris out until second trial

By ANTONYA ENGLISH and BRIAN SHAFFER
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 14, 2003

GAINESVILLE - Unless the Alachua County State Attorney's office changes its decision, redshirt freshman defensive end Steven Harris could miss at least seven games this season.

Harris' third-degree felony trial ended with a hung jury Friday night after nearly 10 hours of testimony and four hours of deliberation. He is scheduled to have a second trial on Oct.13.

The 19-year-old Miami native is accused of hitting, kicking and permanently injuring 22-year-old UF nutritional sciences student Brian Assent in a parking lot brawl outside Gainesville's Palace nightclub in April.

An Alachua County jury declared itself "deadlocked with no hope of change." After the trial, which included testimony from five teammates, jurors said the split was 5-1 to acquit.

Harris' suspension from the team was lifted and he's allowed to practice, but will not be allowed to play until the legal matter is settled - at least another four games.

"It's just too stressful," Harris' mother Gwen Lambert said after the mistrial. "It's been a very long time and it's very stressful. He's trying hard to hold out, but you can tell he's very tired. I'm just so very disappointed."

LEVY'S REVENGE: Though he grew up in Miami, Levy Brown's lifelong dream was to attend UF. He idolized former Gators safety Lawrence Wright and as a senior at Miami Northwestern, Brown hoped to sign with Florida. But then-Gator coach Steve Spurrier told Brown he was too small to play at UF. So the Florida A&M defensive back was psyched about the Rattlers' first meeting against Florida, saying last week: "I'm going to go in there and show Florida what they're missing."

He tried.

On the opening play Brown intercepted Ingle Martin's pass and returned it 22 yards to the Florida 28-yard line.

NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS: Injuries to Florida's linebackers forced coach Ron Zook to do some position switching.

Travis Harris, who started the first two games at defensive end, started at outside linebacker in place of the injured Todd McCullough. Freshman Channing Crowder made his second consecutive start at inside linebacker and Matt Farrior started in the middle, replacing Reid Fleming.

BURNING SHIRTS: Two freshmen who were to be redshirts this season saw action, defensive end Jarvis Moss and running back Joe Cohen. Moss was inserted to provide pressure on the quarterback after seniors Bobby McCray and Darrell Lee didn't record a sack during the first two games. Cohen, recruited as a 6-2, 250-pound tailback, lined up at fullback several times in a two-back I formation.


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