Harris had just 15 tackles as a freshman, but used that time watching to prepare himself for a bigger role a year later. As a sophomore, he was the nickel back but started three games at free safety, finishing the year with 68 tackles, seven for loss, 2.5 sacks and four interceptions on his way to All Big 12 2nd team honors. Last year Harris was named All Big 12 1st team after posting career highs of 74 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Harris is a jumbo safety that uses his size to his advantage. He is very active on the field, and is at his best moving forward towards the line of scrimmage. He is quick to diagnose the run and he attacks the action. Harris shows the ability to blitz and consistently get into the backfield to bring down the ball carrier. For a player of his dimensions he moves pretty well in a straightline and closes on the action well. Harris could project as a linebacker in some schemes, giving him added versatility and hopes of finding a spot in the league.
Harris is not the best coverage safety out there. He is a little stiff in the hips, and could have problems when asked to cover in the NFL. His speed is nice for his size, but is only average for a defensive back, which has led some to think his NFL future may be at linebacker. At that spot, he is going to have to learn new responsibilities and get stronger to handle blockers at the point of attack.
Nic Harris has the ability to play on Sundays, the question is just about what position. He is good enough to remain at safety if a team prefers its strong safety to play closer to the line of scrimmage. He has potential as a weakside linebacker too for teams looking for more athleticism and playmaking ability at that position. Where Harris plays should come down to who selects him, and we won’t find that out until April.