NFL Draft Diamonds Spotlight Interview: Aaron Harris, RB, West Texas A&M
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
Out of high school I actually didn’t have many looks. I had a couple for track but the school I went to we weren’t exactly known for football.
How did you come to make your college decision?
I attended a juco before attending West Texas A&M. I was the number one running back and number 4 overall in my 2009 season at Southwestern. I originally signed to Cincinnati but unfortunately a couple things prevented me from going there. So I decided since I couldn’t get my release I would go D2. I chose WTAMU because they win, and their business program is ranked among the top schools as well.
Where are you training, and what are your goals for pro day/combines?
Right now I am training in San Diego with my trainer Alex Johnson Jr. for the pro day. I want to show that I have the speed and the ability to make an impact on whatever team decided to call me. I want to show I have the capability to catch the ball, and run the ball as well.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
None have met with me yet. I didn’t have the senior season I wanted, we didn’t run the ball as much as I wanted to, but I had decent numbers for what they gave me.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
What separates me from others is my ability to adapt with my O-Line and quarterback. I am a threat in the open field. I can be a downhill runner. or an elusive one… I do whatever my team needs me to do.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
When breaking down film I go at a step. Bases first- I like to see what formation the other team has so I can determine how they will play us, then I focus on the strengths of the defense and what I can do to exploit those weakness. Lastly I look at each player individually and see what their flaws are, whether it is a limp on the left leg or having a slow reaction to a route out of the backfield.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
The toughest player I have ever faced is actually a group of players and that would have to be the linebacker core from Eastern New Mexico University. They were probably the most fundamentally sound group of guys I have ever played against. They worked so well together, it would be too hard to find one that stood out.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
I would have to say Darren McFadden. In my opinion he is a complete back. He can catch, throw and has great vision. I like to say that I have his explosion, or something close to it.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle was probably the financial situation that my family has been in. We have been in debt a long time and when I graduated high school I was kind of scared about not being able to pay for school. Then I met with my advisor Janelle Williams and she showed me how exactly to file for FAFSA. I still couldn’t pay for everything but my coach from high school gave me a job at the recreation center where I used to play basketball. I then realized that I don’t have to do everything by myself that there are always people willing to help you if you are willing to ask. So even with my family still being in trouble I was still able to get my education and get a scholarship to pay for school.
What system fits your style of play the best?
I would say a spread offense would fit me the best because it is all that I have played in since high school. However, there isn’t an offense I can’t pick up and adapt too.
What is your biggest strength?
My biggest strength would have to be my spread and football IQ
What is your biggest weakness?
My biggest weakness would have to be my trouble of picking up edge blitzes. I can pick them up but if there are two I always have trouble seeing who the greater threat is.
If I were a GM and gave you a minute to sell yourself, what would you say?
I would say that I’m not going to feed you any sob story about how this is where I am meant to be and that I have trained my entire life for this moment, but the truth is I have a love for the game and it has opened up many doors for me. It has been my dream to play in the NFL and I know the talents that god has gifted me with can help your organization or another. I bring a lot to the table not only in the physical aspect but also in the mental. I have a lot of ideas that could help any team whether they are successful or not. I love to make people happy and give them a show what better place to do that than the NFL.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My role model was actually my mom. She is the strongest person I have ever met in my life.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
My favorite team would have to be Dallas Cowboys, and because I was brought up all around Cowboy Nation. My favorite player is Bo Jackson, the definition of an athlete. He inspired me to do more than one sport in high school and no athlete should be limited to one sport.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
They would have to be Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Ray Charles.
What would you buy with your first NFL paycheck?
With my first NFL check I would give the entire thing to my mom. I don’t need an apartment as long as I have my car I have a home. My mother has sacrificed so much for me I could never repay her but I can help her.