Standing proud in his blue and gold uniform, glaring down toward his opponents, who have no idea what they are in for, defensive back John Haritan is not only in the spotlight on the football field, but he also shines in the glare of a camera.
The Golden Panther safety not only picked up over 20 tackles in the first game of the season proving how tough he is, but the defensive back is also a star model.
Standing at six feet, 200 pounds, Haritan leaves football practice thinking about not only his possible career as an athlete, but maybe his modeling career.
"I never really thought about modeling, but I have a ton of fun doing it," said Haritan who led FIU in tackles in both 2002 and 2003.
Sporting number 31, Haritan works hard on both the football field, while awaiting another potential season of modeling. After appearing in last year's national advertising campaign for Abercrombie and Fitch, Haritan has now realized there may be more modeling in his near future due to his prior success.
Despite a busy schedule balancing football practice and school, Haritan explained how he doesn't participate in any modeling until football season is over.
"During season, I don't do any modeling," Haritan said. "Football and school come first."
Born and raised in Casselberry, FL, which is just north of Orlando, Haritan was involved in modeling in high school, along with being named The Orlando Sentinel's Seminole County Defensive Player of the year in 2000.
"In high school I modeled a little, but then it got bigger in college," said Haritan who has also been featured on Ocean Drive Magazine.
As a freshman at FIU, John adapted very quickly on the field; he was named the First Team All-Independent after leading his team with 86 tackles. While Haritan was very active with the football team, he also met an agent who recruited him to model in Miami, while still attending FIU. Behind the camera, being shy is not a trait of Haritan.
"When it comes to the camera I'm not shy at all," Haritan said.
Growing up wanting to be a model was far from Haritan's mind as a child; he always thought he would spend his time as an athlete.
"Since I was ten, I always thought I'd play football," Haritan said.
Coming to Miami to fulfill his dreams of football and playing for the Golden Panthers, has been a dream for Haritan.
"It's awesome down here and it's a beautiful campus," Haritan said.
Now entering his junior year at FIU, the Criminal Justice major is still excited at the thought of picking up his modeling career, after another successful season of football and moreover the opportunity to play Division I-A football.
"I want to try and help the team a lot this season," Haritan said.
Whether he is flirting with the camera beneath the flashes of a camera, or getting down and dirty on the football field, Haritan is sure about one thing: he will be successful at what he does, no matter what it is.
Nothing less can be expected from a player who compiled a 39-1 record in high school as a wrestler.
"It's all in the works right now," said Haritan who hopes he can standout in both modeling and the football field.
Source: The Beacon, 10/4/04