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Plenty of 'Soup' for you as Giants' wide receiver Marcus Harris is catching on

Giants wide receiver Marcus Harris makes a catch

Giants wide receiver Marcus Harris makes a catch during practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on July 23, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Marcus Harris heard the crowd but automatically assumed the chants were for someone else. That low, drawn-out "ooooh" sound usually means another receiver has done something to get Giants fans excited.

But on Wednesday night, with training camp practice open to the public, they weren't saying "Cruuuuz." They were saying "Souuuup."

Eventually it dawned on Harris. Hey, that's me!

"It was pretty dope," he said.

The kid with the catchy nickname is starting to become a pretty catchy player, grabbing almost every pass that comes near him and endearing himself to coaches, quarterbacks and, yes, fans.

It was Jeremy Maclin of the Eagles, a high school teammate, who started calling him "Superstar" when they played together. That was a little too brash for Harris, so he shortened it and tweaked the spelling a bit. And he became "Soup."

"Now everybody calls me that, even some of the coaches," Harris said Thursday. "It's pretty cool."

Those same coaches weren't calling him by any cute handle last year when he was on the practice squad for the Giants. They were barely calling him anything. This summer, though, they've found that Harris can be an mmm-mmm good receiver.

"He's had a few good days," Tom Coughlin said. "He's working hard at it."

Coughlin also liked that Harris missed a few snaps with a knee injury on Wednesday but was back on the field by the end of practice. "He's a tough kid," he said.

Harris led the team with four receptions for 49 yards in Sunday's preseason opener against the Bills, but it was Wednesday's practice when he truly made his mark. With Jerrel Jernigan sidelined by a right leg injury, Harris stepped into a starting role, lining up alongside Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle. And it looked every bit like he belonged.

"I believe it's expected," Harris said. "If I'm with the ones, I should play like the ones. It felt real good. It helped with my mindset a lot. Getting a chance to run with the ones was very important to me."

As a practice-squad player last year, he ran scout-team routes and watched Cruz and Randle work, dreaming that one day he would be alongside them. That day came. Jernigan returned to practice Thursday, but Harris still squeezed in a few reps with the starters. He might even find himself with a few Saturday in the Giants' preseason game against the Steelers.

Harris naturally draws plenty of comparisons to Cruz because of their position and because both came into the league as undrafted free agents.

"I'm always pulling for the no-name guys that kind of make it through the ranks because I was there, I was in their shoes," Cruz said. "I know what it feels like, I know exactly the things that he's going through in his mind. Those guys talk to me all the time and things like that. I always pull for those guys and I'm happy [Harris] is doing well. He had a pretty good game this weekend."

Like Cruz, Harris has a signature celebratory move. It's not a salsa, but after one of his catches on Sunday, Harris popped up from the group and mimed holding a bowl in front of him with one hand while eating soup off a spoon with the other.

The Giants and their fans are slurping it up.

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