Harrison hooks up with Packers
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

July 20, 2004 - Tyreo Harrison wasn't available for long.

The Sulphur Springs graduate was in NFL limbo for just three days before being claimed off waivers Monday by the Green Bay Packers. Harrison had been released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday when the Eagles needed to make room on the roster.

"Tyreo is very excited about the opportunity," said his agent, Eugene Lee of ETL Associates. "Green Bay has had their eyes on Tyreo for quite some time, even going back to 2002 when he was released and re-signed (by the Eagles).

"In my conversations with them yesterday, they told me they had really tossed around the idea of trading for him before he was released on Friday. One of the first phone calls I made was to Green Bay because I knew they had an interest in him."

He said Harrison might have been claimed sooner, but Reggie McKenzie, the team's director of pro player personnel, was out of the country on vacation, and Lee's detailed voice mail to him did not get checked until after the weekend.

Harrison will have the opportunity to compete for a back-up spot behind incumbent starting middle linebacker Nick Barnett, a 2003 first round pick, and Lee said he would not be surprised if the Packers also use Harrison on the strong side.

"I can guarantee you this, no one will be more prepared to take advantage of the opportunity than Tyreo," Lee said. "He is very smart and is the hardest working person I've ever been around. His work ethic is unbelievable.

"He's going to get the chance to compete and show people he is an outstanding talent. All he wants is an opportunity, and I think he'll get that at Green Bay."

Last year, with the Eagles, Harrison appeared in 14 games, including both playoff games, and got in on 14 tackles as a special teams player. He will be starting his third year in the league.

Packers' training camp opens July 30 in Green Bay, Wisc., at the team's practice facility adjacent to Lambeau Field.

The 6-foot 2, 238-pound Harrison, a two-year starter at Notre Dame, was a sixth-round selection of the Eagles in the 2002 NFL Draft, the 198th player chosen. At Notre Dame, Harrison finished his collegiate career with 185 tackles, including four sacks and 20 tackles for loss, and was named the team's most improved player as a senior.

Two other former Sulphur Springs Wildcats are also gearing up for the upcoming NFL season.

Damione Lewis, a fourth-year defensive tackle for the St. Louis Rams, will open training camp with the team July 28 at Western Illinois University.

Caleb Miller, a 2004 third-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, has not yet signed with the team but is expected to do so before training camp opens July 30 at Georgetown (Ken.) College. Only 33 of the 255 players drafted by the league's teams in June have signed contracts.

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