It hasn't taken N'Keal Harry long to become an impact player for Arizona State.

Harry, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver, is statistically one of the top receivers in the Pac-12 Conference as a sophomore this season.

He has 66 catches for 889 yards and five touchdowns through 10 games. Harry had 13 receptions for 148 yards and a TD against Texas Tech in ASU's third game of the season and followed that up with seven for 170 and a touchdown against Oregon.

He also had nine for 79 against Washington and eight for 72 against Utah. His low output was three catches against both Stanford and USC, although he had a 70-yard gain against the Trojans.

"If you look at his raw numbers, he's a lot of offense for them," OSU secondary coach John Rushing said. "So you've always got to know where he's at. He's a main part of what they do, so just knowing where that star player is, that's part of playing good defense."

Rushing said Harry's size will be a challenge for some of the Beavers' smaller defensive backs, but they have to match his physical play.

"He's a big, physical receiver at the point of attack," Rushing said. "He uses his size well. He's physical as far as going up and competing for the ball when it's in the air and he runs good routes and has a big body. That's a big frame to get around, so we've got to be physical at the line of scrimmage and we've got to go up and compete."

Harry has been particularly adept at bringing down the 50-50 ball, those throws that a quarterback lobs to a big receiver.

ASU QB Manny Wilkins said that percentage goes up when he's throwing to Harry.

"They're 100 percent balls," Wilkins told the Arizona Republic.

"On the deep balls, that's very unique," receivers coach Rob Likens said in the Arizona Republic. "Those are tough. You don't expect to catch every one of those."

The Sun Devils like to move Harry around to keep the defense off-balance.

He's even lined up in the backfield a few times.

"They move him around so you can't just key on him being in one spot," Rushing said. "They line him as the inside receiver sometimes, sometimes on the outside. Sometimes the backside of three by one, sometimes the front side of three by one. So he lines up in different places, so it kind of presents problems for you if you're just trying to double him."

Cornerback Jay Irvine is looking forward to competing with Harry.

Irvine likes physical play and Harry definitely brings that to the table.

Irvine is healthy after spending quite a bit of time this season too banged up to get out on the field.

"I see he's physical. He likes to play hard when he knows he's getting the ball," Irvine said. "He tries to big-boy a lot of DBs because he's bigger than them.

"Me going against him, I feel like we're both the same, to be honest. I play physical, that's my game. And I talk trash, too. So it's going to be a fun competition."

Irvine compared Harry to Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones and former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.

"He's a big body like Julio, like Megatron was. Not the speed, but just physical, big, go up for the ball, he'll compete," Irvine said.

"I've just got to put my hands on him. I've got to show him that I'm not going to back down. I'm going to be physical at the point every play. This game will be a good opening game for me to show what I can do."


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