Tim Harris stepped in as a true freshman when Tra Nicholson suffered an injury and has essentially been a starter ever since. He has missed a couple games each year with an injury, but he’s pretty much been a stalwart in the defensive backfield for three full years already.
Through those three seasons, Harris has 79 tackles. That doesn’t sound like many, but ¾ of them are solo tackles. He has 2 INTs and 12 passes defended. He also has 5 tackles for a loss and has recovered a fumble. None of those numbers blow you away, but it shows that Harris is a solid all around CB.
The problem, as we’ve reiterated throughout these player profiles, is that Jon Tenuta’s defensive scheme doesn’t really fit Tim Harris’s skills. Harris is a big rangy CB who excels in zone coverage where he can face the QB and read the play in front of him. Maurice Canady was a similar CB. Both were asked to play far more man coverage than they should’ve been.
Harris has good speed and size. He covers a lot of ground, takes good angles and is a very sound tackler for a CB. But he doesn’t have the lateral quickness needed for man coverage, especially against quicker WRs. In fact, Tim was a consensus 4-star recruit coming out of HS, but was seem by most as a safety.
It is sad that Tim enters his senior year without even coming close to reaching his potential. Perhaps a redshirt year would have helped. Perhaps a different coaching style would have helped. Even more so, a defensive coaching staff that understood the strengths of their players would’ve helped. After three years of being in the shadow of Maurice Canady (and others), Harris is now the veteran CB and the top cover guy on the team. Hopefully, he is finally able to put it all together and put up the big year that we know he’s capable of.