Strengths: Tommie Harris is a defensive lineman with a well-documented 4.67-second forty time. For those scoring at home, 4.67 speed is roughly the speed of light for a lineman, give or take a few nanoseconds.
An All-American underclassman, Harris possesses the ideal combination of pass rushing skills and run stopping ability. Nimble for a big man, his feet are always moving. His lack of statistical production belies his presence on the field and how much an opposing offense must account for him on every down. Harris is a bully up the middle and off the edge, getting penetration and creating pressure in the backfield. His stregnth, combined with that speed, makes Harris an explosive force. And if bloodlines mean anything, then note that Harris is a cousin of the McDougle’s, Stockar and Jerome.
Harris cracked the Sooner starting lineup as a true freshman, quite an accomplishment considering that Oklahoma has consistently had one of the best defenses in the country in recent years. The Big 12 conference rewarded Harris and his 17 tackles for a loss with Freshman of the Year honors in 2001.
Areas for Concern: Harris may be fast, but the Sports Illustrated cover jinx catches up to everybody. Featured on the magazine’s cover for the 2002 college football preview issue, Harris appeared menacing, but it was a nagging groin injury that instead menaced him all season. The injury was enough to take away his quickness and explosion and make him downright human. Fully healthy, Harris should return to form, and his two sacks in Oklahoma’s spring scrimmage are a good sign that he will.
Harris is plenty strong, but he could still stand to gain another 10 pounds of muscle weight, especially if it doesn’t sacrifice any of his quickness. His speed has made up for his quickness at the college level, but to play on the line in the NFL, especially if he played as an end in the 3-4, he’ll need the beef to take a beating for sixteen regular season games every year.
How Does He Look in Steel Blue? So with that bulk, Harris could be unstoppable as a 3-4 defensive end. If Harris plays healthy for an entire season and declares for the 2004 draft, teams will clamor for his skills and push him up their draft boards, so expect the Texans’ scouts to watch him closely as he rises.
Raised in Texas, a return to the state seems like the right thing for him to do. Harris has spent time in the offseason wokring with his cousin Stockar, lifting weights and getting in shape. The clean-cut, God-fearing, son of a preacher is just the type of good guy player the Texans’ PR department wants to market, too.
(profile written by Keith Weiland
Tommie Harris Return to The War Room
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