Chris Harris (cornerback)
Harris in the 2012 NFL preseason
No. 25 Denver Broncos
|Date of birth:June 18, 1989|
|Place of birth: Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Undrafted in 2011|
|Debuted in 2011 for the Denver Broncos|
|Roster status: Injured Reserve|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Christopher Harris, Jr. (born June 18, 1989) is an American football cornerback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. Harris played college football for the University of Kansas, earned Defensive Back Player of the Week and All-American Honorable Mention. Harris signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent on July 27, 2011 and earned NFL All Rookie Team and Breakout Player of the Year accolades. Harris is known for his charitable activities and in 2012 started the Chris Harris Jr. Foundation to support his various charitable activities.
Harris was born in Tulsa, OK and attended nearby Bixby High School in Bixby, Oklahoma where he earned varsity letters in football, basketball, and track. Harris was named All-State in basketball and football as defensive back senior year (2006) after helping the Spartans to the district title in 2006.
Harris was an all-metro first team selection after his junior and senior seasons. He earned all-state honorable mention honors as a junior. Collected 61 total tackles, four interceptions and seven pass break-ups in 2006. Harris had 23 receptions for 839 yards during his senior campaign.
Harris helped Bixby High School to second place in the 2005 state football championship, coached by Pat McGrew. Harris was a member of the academic state champions teams in 2005 and 2006. Harris was named a 2006 leader (top 50 students at Bixby) by the Bixby Optimist Club.
Chris played football in college at the University of Kansas, where he received numerous accolades and produced numbers that set him apart as a one of the most successful defensive players in the history of Kansas football. By the end of his college career, Chris had landed himself at #2 on the Kansas football all-time tackles list.
Despite a successful collegiate career, Harris did not receive a combine invite and went undrafted in 2011. Even with these setbacks, Harris continued to train and eventually earned an invitation to Denver Broncos training camp.
Although nobody envisioned him making the team, Harris' performance in training camp and practices ultimately solidified his spot on the roster. His first opportunity to play in a game came against the Green Bay Packers when veteran cornerback Champ Bailey was out with an injury and the Broncos trailed heavily in the game. Harris recorded 3 tackles in that game, which opened the door for more opportunities to prove himself.
On November 6, 2011 in a game against the Oakland Raiders, Harris intercepted Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer to record his first career interception. During this game, Harris led the team with 11 tackles that tied him for the fifth most tackles by a cornerback in Denver Broncos team history and tied him for the 11th most tackles by an undrafted NFL cornerback in league history.
Harris made the Denver Broncos All-Rookie Team and received the Denver Broncos Breakout Player of the Year and Denver Broncos Overachiever of the Year awards. Harris’s rookie season concluded with a total of 65 tackles (56 solos), six special teams tackles, six pass breakups and an interception. Harris led the team in special teams tackles on three occasions and also led the team in total tackles twice while being one of four rookies to play in all 16 games.
Chris’s success for the Broncos continued in 2012. Chris started a career-high 12 games, wherein he set a personal best 12 passes defended and 2.5 sacks, and finished the season ranked 5th in the NFL in receiving yards allowed. Chris also scored his first career touchdown and recorded his first multi-interception game in Week 6 at San Diego. On December 16, 2012 in a game against the Baltimore Ravens, Harris intercepted Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco for a 98-yard touchdown return, the longest in Broncos history.
Harris also tied the Broncos’ single-season record with two interceptions returned for touchdowns and posted the fourth-most interception return yards (144) in team history in 2012. He ranked fifth in the NFL in receiving yards allowed (400) and tied for the ninth-fewest completions (35) allowed among players with at least 60 targets during the 2012 season. Harris had a season high 8 solo tackles against the Cleveland Browns in week 16.
In the season opener versus Baltimore, Harris intercepted Joe Flacco which set up Denver's first touchdown of the year. It was also the first turnover of the 2013 NFL season. On September 15, Harris intercepted his quarterback's brother, Eli Manning after a deflection off of Tony Carter's foot in the win against the New York Giants. On October 27, Harris picked off RG3 in a 45-21 win against the Washington Redskins. He would be quiet for the rest of the year. In a Divisional Round Game against the Chargers, Harris tore his ACL and couldn't play in the AFC Championship Game or Super Bowl XLVIII.
Chris Harris Jr. married his college sweetheart, Leah, with whom he resides in Denver during the off-season.
Chris Harris Jr. Foundation
In 2012, Harris started the Chris Harris Jr. foundation. The foundation's fundamental goal is to support what Harris refers to as 'underdogs' through various charitable activities. Harris holds an annual free football camp for kids called the 'Underdog Football Academy', has been a national spokesman against domestic violence through DVIS, and his foundation has worked extensively with Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Salvation Army.
In addition to the foundation's work, Chris and his wife Leah are also involved with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Chris and his wife have a little brother and little sister that they personally mentor in addition to working with the organization in general.
- Wilkening, Mike (March 7, 2014). "Report: Broncos give Chris Harris second-round tender". NBCSports.com. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- Klis, Mike (March 7, 2014). "Chris Harris to see 2nd-round tender from Broncos; Tony Carter also to receive tender". DenverPost.com. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- Chris Harris Jr. Official Website
- Chris Harris Jr. Official Twitter
- Denver Broncos bio
- Kansas Jayhawks bio