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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Victor Harris

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 198 | College: Virginia Tech
 
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange
Overview

It was commonplace during the 2008 season to see Harris line up at boundary cornerback, field cornerback or even free safety. If that was not enough, when it came time for the opposition to either punt the ball away or kick off, Harris handled those attempts as well. And with the team's receiving corps depleted by 2007 graduation, the coaches experimented with their versatile player on the offensive side of the ball during preseason camps.

Even though he did not start there, he was utilized quite a bit as a slot receiver, split wide or as a tailback out of the backfield. What made all of this shuffling around more impressive was the fact that Harris was hampered early in the year by a left foot sprain he suffered during the team's final scrimmage before the 2008 season opener.

Undaunted, Harris continued to play, doing whatever the coaches asked from him. Still, he is a shutdown cornerback, first and foremost. To that end, he gave Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith a run for his money in their quest to re-write the Atlantic Coast Conference record books. Both players tied the ACC career record by returning four interceptions for touchdowns. Harris gained 278 yards on his 15 interceptions (third most in school history), which ranks third in league history. Smith managed to generate 254 yards, finishing seventh on the ACC chart.

Parade magazine might have found the right category to place Harris in. When the youngster was competing at Highland Spring High School, he made the Parade All-American team as an "athlete." That was after he led the Richmond metro area in rushing his senior year with 225 carries for 2,346 yards, averaging 10.4 yards per carry and scoring 27 touchdowns on the ground. He also caught four passes for 90 yards and four scores and racked up 751 yards with four touchdowns on 28 returns. In addition, he contributed 22 tackles and three interceptions as a defensive back, scoring touchdowns six different ways during his final season.

During the course of his prep career, Harris was rated the best player in the state by The Roanoke Times and named the Offensive Player of the Year in the state's AAA grouping by the VHSCA. He picked up All-State first-team honors as a running back and defensive back, as well as second-team as a kick returner. He made the Super Prep, Prep Star, USA Today and Prep Football Report All-American first-teams. Prep Star rated him the second-best prospect in the country and Rivals.com gave him a third-place ranking.

Prep Star also chose Harris to its Dream Team 100 and All-Atlantic Region squads. He was ranked as the best player in the state and fourth-rated cornerback by Scout.com. He participated in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, as he finished his career as the Central Region's career leading ground gainer with 5,320 yards, scoring a total of 70 touchdowns his final two seasons.

Needless to say, every major university tried to recruit Harris, but he had his heart set on playing for head coach Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. But before he could even suit up for that school, tragedy struck twice. The story of Victor "Macho" Harris' tumultuous December of 2004 is widely known, but always worth repeating.

First, he suffered third-degree burns on Dec. 15, the day Beamer and assistant Jim Cavanaugh were coming to his house for a recruiting visit. Harris' mother, Maritza, was preparing a meal for the coaches, and a grease fire broke out in the kitchen while she was at the store. Harris put out the fire by throwing a quilt on the pan, but suffered burns in the process. He has small scars on his face, and skin grafts on his right forearm.

Then, 10 days after Beamer's visit and five days after he committed to the Hokies, his mother fainted at home on Christmas Day and passed away at the hospital. He has a tattoo on his left forearm of an image of his mother and the words: "My angel. My reason. My mother." He also has a tattoo on his neck that reads "Mama's Boy." Maritza Harris was 43.

Harris lettered as a true freshman at Virginia Tech in 2005, seeing most of his action on special teams. He blocked a kick, deflected two passes in brief action as a "field" cornerback and produced 12 tackles (7 solos) for the coverage units. Having bulked up in the offseason, he beat out incumbent Roland Minor for the field cornerback position in 2006. He picked off four passes, returning one for the first of his four touchdowns on interceptions for his career. He also collected 34 tackles (22 solos), despite playing the latter part of the schedule with a shoulder dislocation from the Kent State game.

Harris earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2007, starting all 14 games at field cornerback. He also started to become acclimated with return chores. He posted 36 tackles and deflected 11 passes. A collarbone contusion at Duke would limit him as a kickoff returner the rest of the year, but not before he tied the school record with a 100-yard runback for a score vs. Clemson. He averaged 34.7 yards on six kickoffs and 7.4 yards on five punt returns. He also scored once on five interceptions and batted down eleven passes.

Harris missed the 2008 season opener vs. East Carolina due to a left foot sprain, but the All-American first-team pick returned to start the final 13 contests, shifting to boundary cornerback. He registered 46 tackles (32 solos), caused two fumbles and recovered another. He also broke up eight passes and intercepted six others, tying the school single-season record by returning two of those pass thefts for touchdowns. He averaged 15.0 yards on four kickoff returns and 9.3 yards on 25 punt returns. He also snatched eight passes for 63 yards (7.9 avg) and rushed five times for a 9.6-yard average.

Analysis

Positives: Natural playmaker. … Versatile athlete with the skills to help at multiple positions. … Alert zone defender. … Reads the quarterback's eyes and closes quickly on the ball. … Reliable open-field tackler who flashes explosiveness as a hitter. … Willing to dirty his jersey against the run. … Good lateral agility to elude blockers and will come up aggressively in run support. … At least adequate hip flexibility and straight-line speed. … Natural hands for the interception. … Can track the ball over either shoulder. … Good leaping ability and times his leaps well. … Can highpoint passes and shows the strong hands to snatch passes out of the air. … Reliable hands as a returner. … Good vision and burst as a returner.

Negatives: Might lack the hip flexibility and straight-line speed for man coverage. … Inconsistent press technique and lacks the burst to keep up with faster receivers if he misses his initial punch. … Likes to go for the intimidating hit and will occasionally fail to wrap up properly when dropping his shoulder into the ballcarrier. … Plays a flashy, emotional game and can get carried away on the field, drawing penalties.

Career Notes

Harris started the final 40 contests of his 50-game career; 27 at field cornerback and 13 at boundary cornerback … Recorded 128 tackles (83 solos) with 5.5 stops for losses of 18 yards, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery … Blocked a kick and deflected 22 passes … Gained 270 yards on 30 punt returns (9.0 avg), 268 yards with a touchdown on 10 kickoff returns (26.8 avg), 48 yards on five rushing attempts (9.6 avg) and 63 yards on eight receptions (7.9 avg) … Amassed 927 yards on 68 touches, an average of 13.63 yards per play … Intercepted 15 passes for 278 yards (18.5 avg) and four touchdowns … His 15 interceptions rank tied for 14th in Atlantic Coast Conference history and third in Tech annals, topped by Gene Bunn (18, 1976-78) and Tyronne Drakeford (16, 1990-93) … His 278 yards gained on interception returns placed third in ACC history behind John Talley of Duke (395 yards, 2003-06) and Pat Chester of Virginia (296, 1978-82) and second in school annals, topped only by Ashley Lee (351 yards, 1980-84) … His four interception returns for touchdowns tied the conference all-time record he shares with Alphonso Smith of Wake Forest (2005-2008) and Randy Neal of Virginia (1991-94), as it also broke the previous Tech career record of three by Don Divers (1954-56) and Mike Widger (1967-69) … His two pass theft returns for touchdowns in 2008 tied the school single-season record that is also held by Divers (1954), Widger (1968), Lee (1983) and Eric Green (2003) … His 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. Clemson in 2007 tied the conference record held by 13 other players, most recently by Josh Wilson of Maryland (vs. Georgia Tech, Oct. 7, 2006) … His six interceptions in 2008 rank seventh on Tech's annual record chart and his 142 return yards in 2008 rank fifth, topped by Johnny Watkins (210 in 1960), Widger (203 in 1968), Green (166 in 2003) and Ashley Lee (155 in 1984) on the school season-record list.

2008 Season

All-American first-team selection by The Sporting News, adding second-team honors from The NFL Draft Report and Associated Press … Unanimous All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team choice … Shifted to boundary cornerback, starting the team's final thirteen games … Missed the season opener vs. East Carolina after suffering a left foot sprain during the team's final August camp scrimmage … Recorded 46 tackles (32 solos) and 3.5 stops for losses of 10 yards … Deflected eight passes, caused two fumbles and recovered another … Tied the school game-record with two touchdowns on six interception returns for a total of 142 yards (23.7 avg), as his six pass thefts tied for 11th in the nation … Ranked third in the ACC with a 9.32-yard average on 25 punt returns for 233 yards … Added 60 yards on four kickoff returns (15.0 avg), 48 yards on five rushing attempts (9.6 avg) and 63 yards on eight receptions (7.9 avg) … Gained 927 all-purpose yards, an average of 13.63 yards per attempt.

2008 Game Analysis

Furman … In his first action for 2008, Harris collected three solo tackles, deflected a pass and gained 30 yards on four punt returns.

North Carolina … Harris delivered five tackles (4 solos), including one for a loss, as he caught his first career reception, a 9-yarder in the third quarter and killed a fourth quarter drive when he picked off a pass at the Hokies' 2-yard line.

Nebraska … The boundary cornerback delivered six tackles (4 solos), chasing down Niles Paul for a 6-yard loss on a rushing attempt that resulted in a fumble that Paul quickly recovered … Added a 16-yard kickoff return and two punt returns for 48 yards … Also picked off a Joe Ganz pass that he returned 15 yards to the Huskers' 2-yard line, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Tech tailback Darren Evans.

Western Kentucky … Harris followed with two stops, including one behind the line of scrimmage, as he caught two passes for 15 yards, gained 40 yards on two punt returns, including a 32-yarder that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Tech's Darren Evans and had a 49-yard interception return to set up a 22-yard field goal at the end of the first half.

Boston College … The senior defensive back delivered six tackles (5 solos), as he picked off a pass for the fourth-straight game, returning a Chris Crane third-&-5 toss that he intercepted 55 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half.

Florida State … Had a quiet day on defense, making three solo tackles with a pass break-up, but added a 13-yard reverse, two catches for 14 yards and five punt returns for 49 yards.

Miami … Harris caught a pass for 10 yards and ran for a 3-yard gain, as he also posted six tackles (4 solos) and stripped the ball from receiver Aldarius Johnson on a third-&-7 2-yard catch, but Miami recovered the pigskin, settling for a 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Duke … The boundary cornerback picked off a pair of passes, as he killed a mid second quarter series by grabbing a Zack Asack pass, and later in the fourth quarter, he turned that interception into a 23-yard touchdown return.

Boston College (ACC Championship Game) … Looking to make up for Tech's regular season 28-23 loss vs. BC, Harris collected two tackles with a pair of pass deflections and chased down receiver Rich Grunnell, who caught a pass for 37 yards, stripping the ball away at the Tech 2, where linebacker Cam Martin recovered it in the end zone for a touchback.

Cincinnati (Orange Bowl) … Harris closed out his career with 29 yards on two kickoff returns, a pair of tackles and a pass deflection … Also took down tailback John Goebel for a 2-yard loss at the end of the first quarter.

2007 Season

All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection … Harris started all fourteen games at field cornerback, recording 36 tackles (22 solos) with a stop for a 6-yard loss … Batted down a career-high eleven passes and gained 61 yards with a touchdown on five interceptions (12.2 avg) … Returned six kicks for 208 yards (34.7 avg), tying the ACC record with a 100-yard touchdown vs. Clemson … Also returned five punts for 37 yards (7.4 avg) … Gained 306 all-purpose yards, an average of 19.13 yards per attempt.

2007 Game Analysis

Turned in the key play during the opening game win over East Carolina, intercepting a pass and returning it 17 yards for a touchdown, as he also had two tackles and a pair of pass break-ups … Added three tackles at Louisiana State before leaving the game at halftime with a pulled hamstring … Returned the next week and played 51 snaps vs. Ohio with one tackle and one pass deflection … Played just 25 downs vs. William & Mary due to his hamstring injury, breaking up a pass and returning two punts for 17 yards … Played every defensive down vs. North Carolina, posting two tackles … Tied a school and ACC record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Clemson, as he also added an interception, four tackles and a pass break-up … Broke up a pass and added two tackles vs. Duke … Played every defensive down vs. Boston College, coming up with three tackles and a deflected pass … Picked off two passes and broke up another vs. Georgia Tech and had four tackles and three pass break-ups in the Florida State game, as he also returned four kickoffs for 92 yards … Returned an interception 44 yards vs. Miami … Contributed four hits at Virginia … Was in on five tackles in the ACC Championship win over Boston College and delivered two tackles, including one for a 6-yard loss, during the Orange Bowl loss to Kansas.

2006 Season

Earned the Frank O. Moseley Award, given to the team's top defensive hustler … Took over the starting field cornerback duties, recording 34 tackles (22 solos), including one stop for a 2-yard loss … Gained 75 yards on four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown … Also deflected one pass.

2006 Game Analysis

Made his first start vs. Northeastern, responding with two tackles … Added four stops vs. North Carolina and picked off a pair of passes, including a 72-yarder for a touchdown while also coming up with three solo tackles vs. Cincinnati … Delivered five tackles (4 solos) and had his third pass theft for the year vs. Georgia Tech … Added his fourth interception in the Kent State clash, but dislocated his shoulder while making that one-handed catch … .Back on the field the following week, making three tackles in each of his next two games vs. Wake Forest and Virginia … In the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Harris had another three tackles, including one for a 2-yard loss.

2005 Season

Harris appeared in 13 games as a reserve field cornerback, seeing the bulk of his action on special teams … Deflected two passes and recorded twelve tackles (7 solos) …

Broke up a pass vs. North Carolina and blocked a punt while posting a pair of tackles … Had another pass deflection with four tackles in the Marshall clash … Added three tackles on special teams vs. Boston College … Made one stop vs. Louisville in the Gator Bowl.

Injury Report

2006: Suffered a shoulder dislocation vs. Kent State (11/11).

2007: Left the Louisiana State game (9/08) at halftime with a hamstring strain … Suffered a collarbone contusion vs. Duke (10/13).

2008: Missed the season opener vs. East Carolina (8/30) after suffering a left foot sprain during the team's final August camp scrimmage.

2009: Did not participate in the bench press at the NFL Combine due to an elbow sprain.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.46 in the 40-yard dash … 1.51 10-yard dash … 2.56 20-yard dash … 34-inch vertical jump … 10'1" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 13 times.

Combine: 4.68 in the 40-yard dash … 1.50 10-yard dash … 2.59 20-yard dash … 3.98 20-yard shuttle … 6.68 three-cone drill … 33.5-inch vertical jump … 9'10" broad jump … 31 3/8-inch arm length … 9-inch hands … Did not participate in the bench press due to an elbow sprain.

High School

Attended Highland Springs (Va.) High School, playing football for head coach Scott Burton … Parade All-American team selection as an "athlete" … Led the Richmond metro area in rushing his senior year with 225 carries for 2,346 yards, averaging 10.4 yards per carry and scoring 27 touchdowns on the ground … Also caught four passes for 90 yards and four scores and racked up 751 yards with four touchdowns on 28 returns … In addition, he contributed 22 tackles and three interceptions as a defensive back, scoring touchdowns six different ways during his final season … Rated the best player in the state by The Roanoke Times and named the Offensive Player of the Year in the state's AAA grouping by the VHSCA … Picked up All-State first-team honors as a running back and defensive back, as well as second-team as a kick returner … Made the Super Prep, Prep Star, USA Today and Prep Football Report All-American first-teams … Prep Star rated him the second-best prospect in the country and Rivals.com gave him a third-place ranking … Prep Star also chose Harris to its Dream Team 100 and All-Atlantic Region squads … Ranked as the best player in the state and fourth-rated cornerback by Scout.com … Participated in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, as he finished his career as the Central Region's career leading ground gainer with 5,320 yards, scoring a total of 70 touchdowns his final two seasons.

Personal

Sociology major … Nicknamed "Macho" … Son of Victor Harris and the late Maritza Harris … Born 2/16/86 in New York City, New York … Resides in Highland Springs, Virginia.

 
Latest News
04/27/2009 - A closer look at the Eagles' picks: Round 5/157 -- Victor Harris, CB, 5-11, 187, Virginia Tech...Harris is regarded a solid zone corner and could compete for the dime corner job depending on whether Sheldon Brown goes or stays. Many feel he could end up at free safety in the NFL, though he'd have to add some weight.

01/21/2009 - 2009 Senior Bowl, Wednesday practice: Virginia Tech's Macho Harris has similar agility, but may lack their straight-line speed. He has played well here this week, but scouts are reserving judgment, as his ultimate grade will be determined by his 40-yard time. - Rob Rang, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com

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