See below as NewEraScouting chats NFL draft with Texas A&M, CB, Dustin Harris
Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest strengths as a player?
Dustin Harris: One strength that really sticks out to me is my return ability. I have been returning kicks and punts from pee-wee to college and that is one area I really strive to excel in. I feel I really improved on my tackling this season. I have improved a lot since my Freshmen season. I think my real specialty that sets me apart is my return ability.
Scott Porter: What are your goals for the NFL?
Dustin Harris: I want to play a long time in the NFL. I don’t want to be one of those guys that just goes there to say they made it. I want to last and play up to my potential and be an asset to a team. I just want to go in relax and take care of what I need to, to become a great player. I want to do things right. I want to be dependable weather that is as a return man or at the cornerback position or whatever is asked of me.
Scott Porter: Is there a CB in the NFL that you watch to model your game after?
Dustin Harris: Nnamdi Asomugha of the Eagles. He has a tough name to say but he reminds me of myself because he isn’t the biggest CB but he is very physical and gets the job done. He takes risks and doesn’t make many mistakes. He is a good all around cornerback who can do anything. I feel I can play in any system in the NFL as I can adjust well to whatever a team needs me to do.
Scott Porter: What is your favorite memory while at Texas A&M?
Dustin Harris: Two really stick out to me. First there was the Alabama game this year. Going in and beating them was huge for us as a school. There was one play in the Alabama game in particular that sticks out as a memory of mine. We have been a D minded team all season long we as a team worked very hard on tackling and making plays on the defensive side of the ball. Towards the end of the game the goals paid off to give us a victory. We had some huge takeaways in the game that day. Alabama tried us deep and the DB’s came up big. The other memory that sticks out was playing Oklahoma and beating them in the Cotton bowl this year. That game was a payback for all of the times that Oklahoma had beaten us when we were in the big 12. Oklahoma had been putting up 60-40 points a game every time they played us so that was really remarkable to win that game for us. It was amazing for us Seniors to go out our last game beating Oklahoma in a bowl game after every thing we had been through. To beat a team you had struggled against for 3 years in your last game ever was a great way to go out.
Scott Porter: What hobbies do you have off the field?
Dustin Harris: I love to hunt and fish. I am a very complex guy. I love the outdoors and spend a lot of time in the outdoors. I am a big worker. I always have some project that I am spending time on. I love to work on stuff with my dad and my little brother. We do a lot of fishing and hunting together. Sometimes it is just fun to get away and joy some things without worrying about homework and keeping you mind off school and football.
Scott Porter: Who has been your biggest influence throughout your career?
Dustin Harris: Your truly Ray Lewis. I am sure Ray has impacted a lot of people with his play and motivation off the field. What Ray gives to schools is amazing. He goes around and talks to schools and gives off motivation and has great speeches. He really gets you up. It is good to see an NFL guy out there doing what he does and he loves doing it. He is out there giving back and helping other players. He has been a big influence to me. Another guy is a former teammate of mine. Von Miller of the Denver Broncos. When I came in as a Freshmen he taught me the ropes. He got me through practices. I watched a lot of film with him and he helped me in my development a lot. He taught me stuff that I wouldn’t see as a Freshmen, a lot of stuff I may not have learned until my Senior season. It is nice to see a great guy like him living up to his hype in the NFL. He is a very good player and a great person. I hope I can play up to my potential like Von has done. He has been a huge part of my success.
Scott Porter: You have played in the Big 12 and SEC now. What is the biggest difference, what has the experience been like between the two?
Dustin Harris: I would say the biggest difference is the offenses. Big 12 is very pass oriented. They do a lot of no huddle and quick snaps and pass a ton. SEC is more of a power game. They have big fast back where as the big 12 seems to have the more speed type of RB’s, Big 12 isn’t as smash mouth as the SEC. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the SEC as much but I really ended up liking it better. It was more fun playing in the SEC. I only got a year to play in it, but I had a lot of fun. There are so many great players in the SEC that you are competing against so much NFL talent in the conference, not that you don’t get that in the Big 12 but the SEC is a real good test to see where you are at as a player. It was a great experience.
Scott Porter: What will you miss most about college football?
Dustin Harris: I will miss the Aggie fans. They were great. It was amazing playing here. I had a blast with my teammates. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I will miss traveling and experiencing the different college atmospheres. I have experienced a lot of cities that I would have never gone to had it not been for college football. The biggest thing I will miss is playing on the home field at Texas A&M. There was not other experience like it and I will miss it heavily. I will always be able to tell people that I played at Kyle Field. It is crazy to think I had the experience to play here. One of the top ranked stadiums in college football. I got to play against so many great teams and met so many great people.