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Behind Enemy Lines: Q&A with Eastern Michigan DE Jeremiah Harris, OL Jimmy Leatiota


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Eastern Michigan defensive end Jeremiah Harris (right) and offensive lineman Jimmy Leatiota (left) pose for a portrait on June 24 at Mid-American Conference Media Day.

Central Michigan Life's Evan Petzold spoke with Eastern Michigan defensive end Jeremiah Harris and offensive lineman Jimmy Leatiota to preview Central Michigan's noon Nov. 3 game against the Eagles at Rynearson Stadium. 

Eastern Michigan finished with a 5-7 (3-5, Mid-American Conference) record in 2017. 

The last time the Eagles took on CMU was Nov. 8, 2017. The Chippewas won the game at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, 42-30.

Led by coach Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan is 4-5 (2-3 MAC) in the 2018 season, losing to Buffalo, SDSU, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Army.

Throughout the 2018 season, defensive end Harris has created havoc for opposing quarterbacks and running backs. The 6-foot-5, 251-pound athlete has accumulated 37 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and one interception in nine games. 

Offensive lineman Leatiota aims to help protect quarterbacks Tyler Wiegers and Mike Glass III. Wiegers, the main starter, is 126-of-190 for 1,469 yards and 10 touchdowns. Glass owns 12 total touchdowns – six passing, six rushing. 

Harris and Leatiota discuss preparing for a 1-8 overall Central Michigan team in this exclusive Q&A.

Jeremiah Harris

Central Michigan Life: What do you know about Central Michigan football?

“I was committed there originally, and I left, so that’ll let you know how I feel about Central Michigan.

"Honestly, I don’t know a lot about the new coaching staff. I know they are our rival, but they don’t think of us like that, so that’s a chip on our shoulder.”

After being committed under former coach Dan Enos, why did you decommit?

“I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t have any other offers. I went up for an official visit and didn’t like it at all. I decommitted without knowing where I was going to go.”

Does it upset you that CMU doesn't look at Eastern Michigan as a true rival?

“Honestly, we are used to it by now. We think the same thing about them. If they aren’t going to take us seriously, we will pound them into the ground.

“We still take them as serious as anyone else. It’s another team we have to go out and beat.”

What are you looking forward to about playing this weekend?

“Beating them. It’s as simple as that.”

Jimmy Leatiota

Central Michigan Life: What do you know about Central Michigan football?

“I’ve only been playing here for two years. I know they are one of our rivals.”

Do you remember anything from CMU's 42-30 victory against your team from last year? 

“One thing that comes to mind when I think about Central Michigan is cold. It was a mid-week game, and the coldest I’ve ever played in. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my feet. I was standing next to the heater the whole game. The atmosphere was a typical game.”

How much does home-field advantage play into this game? 

“It’s nice to have them back at home to get our crowd against them. It’s nice to have them on our gray turf. We will see how it plays out.” 

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