Considered one of the top cornerback prospects in the upcoming draft, Brandon Harris is the prototype of the perfect football player. At a shade under 6 feet tall, 195 pounds and lightening quick…plus possessing the mentality of opposing quarterbacks…he’s an offensive squad’s nightmare! He was the starting cornerback of U-Miami’s team that ranked second in the nation in both pass defense and pass efficiency throughout the 2010 regular season. A lot of this production was due to his part.
The one thing that struck me the most during our interview with Brandon is the maturity that this young man possesses. When asked about how he felt about his draft chances, he replied, “I’m looking forward to it. I’m very nervous about the draft… not about what spot will I be taken in but just about what team I’m going to land on. It’s going to be exciting.” It’s funny that so many athletes think that the world must revolve around them. Yet, it’s refreshing to find a young athlete who looks at living life as its how you make of it that counts.
Team commitment and getting in where you fit in is what drives this young man’s passion. When asked about what teams he would love to join, he replied, “I think every team has something special. I think every team possesses a strength and weakness. A lot of people mention that you don’t want to be on a cold-weather team but I think some cold-weather teams are some of the best teams to play on.” Sounds to me like this future NFL player is ready to put on his football pads and play…no matter the situation! Here is the rest of our exclusive interview with Brandon…
How has the Father/Coach-Son/Football player role helped you develop as the football player you are right now?
It helped me develop great! It started young with my dad coaching…It helped me start football young. He was always there at home. When I came home, he helped me out to doing different things. He helped me mostly mentally on the game….understanding football. Because I grew up being a quarterback, he helped me understand offenses and how the game works. Once I got to high school, having that prior knowledge and understanding of the game, it helped me out a lot when I was there.
How would you prepare yourself for life after football?
I was a business major in college and I’m still pursuing my Bachelor in Business. I definitely want to put that degree to use. I want to start it immediately and not just wait until after I’m done with football to start thinking about my money…thinking about saving…and what I can do after football. I want to start setting myself up nicely the minute I step up in the NFL. That’s the plan I’ve been thinking and beginning to put into place.
I’m definitely going to be doing a lot in the community as far as economically helping the community grow…placing family-owned businesses throughout the community, creating job opportunities and things like that for close friends and family…just a way for the community in general to grow economically. I have a pretty good picture of what I want to do, but I just need to sit down a little bit and think over it.
In your words, what can you bring to a team looking to draft you in terms of a football player?
I think I definitely bring a great leadership quality… great work ethnic. I’ve always been a guy who gives it his all in the weight room and not just on game day. As a football player, I think versatility is the most important thing I can say. I played the cornerback position…played nickel at Miami…and gave us a lot of help on special team [positions]. Just being a guy who can come in on any given situation and get the job done. I’m not a guy who can do only one thing. I’m just one player who can do multiple positions and it helps the team out a lot. In the NFL, you don’t have a lot of roster space. I feel I also can do more than one thing on a roster…being able to play different roles if called upon.
When you get drafted by a team, what kind of defense will be more comfortable with?
I think one my strengths is playing man-to-man coverage. I did that at Miami a lot…being able to use my athletic abilities to showcase how I can cover receivers and make good plays on the ball. I like to mix things up throughout the game, but in tradition, I like to play a lot of man-to-man coverage. That would be one of my ideal situations for me.
What was college life like for you at University of Miami in terms of football?
College life at Miami was great! It was a fun experience I’ve had because you build so many relationships. I learned a lot in my three years there. I was grouped together with great teammates and coaching staff! It not only helped me become a better football player, but it helped me become a better man. The connections I made in Miami is going to going to take me a long way as far as what football is going to take me. The professional people you meet and the relationships you gained. Guys you meet, you’ll see them nowadays and it’s like yall been knowing each other forever, but you really only know two years ago. The most important thing that I took from this whole experience is just networking and building experiences.
Do you have any future coaching or other plans down the road?
I definitely won’t mind coaching with my father one day. That will be a learning experience for me….just to play for him and then coach under him. I think that’s one of the unique things about having parents that is at their sport and out there doing it also…you probably can work together or coach against each other one day. I think after football is over with, I want to stay close to the community to help other people lives and get better. I definitely wouldn’t mind coaching one day also. I think it would be something fun to do on the spare time.
I got to ask you…the No Fly Zone motto…how did that originate?
It started out as a joke! Something that I came up with my agents…we were just sitting around watching tape. They saw how I play with a lot of energy…and I play with a lot of enthusiasm. When plays came my way, [they saw] how I would always break a pass up or intercept it, I always made a little hand gesture like it was nothing coming this way! Then we all came up with “Man, that’s a no fly zone, there’s nothing flying in your area.” Coming up with the name was the easy part but the hard part that is going to be is maintain that motto and continue to do what I’m supposed to do in the NFL.
Any words of advice you want to give out?
Enjoy the whole experience in college…enjoy the whole experience of the combine and the draft process. It’s been a lot of fun for me. A lot of people in Miami, they come to me and they want to give advice. A lot of people are very talented but they might not have the opportunities to go through the things I’m going through right now. Enjoy it with other people…with family and friends. Write everything down that you want people to know because you’ll forget. Just find a way to enjoy it and allows others to enjoy it with you.