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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Demetris Harris, OG, University of South Florida

Demetris Harris South Florida 2022 NFL Draft
Demetris Harris the offensive guard from the University of South Florida recently sat down with Jimmy Williams of NFL Draft Diamonds.
  • Name: Demetris Harris
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 320 lbs
  • Position: OG
  • College: University of South Florida
  • Twitter: Meech64__
  • Instagram: Meech64_

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I graduated in December of 2020 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Economics and Public Administration. I am currently in graduate school pursuing a degree in Entrepreneurship. A couple years ago, I did an internship with the Tampa Bay Lightning that was very interesting. I got to understand more about the business and all of the different departments of the arena, anything from ticket sales to marketing.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would mention my leadership and experience. I’m a 3 year starter that has gained the respect of my teammates.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
At USF, I have had the role of a mentor and enforcer. I try to be the best lineman that I can be. Yet, I also like to give back to the younger guys behind me. I’ve started all of my games at LG. Yet, I have practiced a lot at center as well.

My play style is versatile. I’m in my 3rd different offense in 5 years. My first 2 years, we did more of a power scheme, and the last couple years we’ve been in more of a pro style which allows me to drop back into pass protection or block for the RPO game.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Myjai Sanders is a great edge rusher out of Cincinnati that I’ve faced. He has a dawg mentality that allows him to get around the edge. He has a great motor and brings intensity to every play.

I also remember back in 2019 when I faced Wisconsin. They had a backup lineman named Keeanu Benton who worked really well against me. I thought he was better than most of the starters.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Deadrin Senat and Jeremi Hall were great teammates that really taught me the ropes in my earlier years. Deadrin Senat is doing very well for the Falcons. Jeremi was one of the best guards in our conference and would have done great in the league had it not been for injuries.

Currently, I want to give a shout out to Brian Norris and Trey Jacobs. Brian really impressed me because he was recruited as a RB but really turned into a reliable LB that we can depend on. Trey is a physically gifted tackle that transferred from Grambling. He’s a converted DT who adjusted very well. Yet, he puts in work every day in order to get better.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
As a true freshman, I remember coming into campus thinking that I was going to beat out any player in front of me and be a top draft pick as a junior. I got on the field, and everything was looking fine. Players and coaches started to talk about how good I was. The 2nd week of camp we were doing the Oklahoma drill, and my thumb got caught in someone’s helmet. I felt something pop, and went to the trainer. I had ligament damage. I remember trying to grab a water bottle and couldn’t squeeze it because it was too painful.

I was out for 6-7 weeks with surgery and rehab, and ended up redshirting my freshman year. This was definitely one of the times that I had to persevere. I felt like I was being put on the back burner as the coaches focused on other players. I had to look into myself and find out what I was truly made of. I had a year to learn, get bigger, faster and stronger. I earned my way back to the starting spot, and I’ve been there ever since.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I threw the shot and discus in track & field in high school. I probably would have stuck with wrestling though. I wanted to play basketball in high school, but the strength coach told me that wrestling would really help me as a football player down the line. It took me a while to learn the sport, but I did make it to state as a sophomore. Wrestling definitely translates well to football in that you have to win your one-on-ones on a regular basis.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of graduating. Both of my parents are Navy vets and now own their own tutoring company. So, needless to say that they raised us to focus on our academics, and I like being able to show them that I made it.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
In 2019, we played against BYU in our homecoming game. We were running power a lot in that game. I remember that I pulled about 19 times. We were down a score with about 5 minutes left, and I made a good block which allowed our QB to run in for the score. I gave every ounce of my energy in that game.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
I’m a huge Lebron fan. Jalen Ramsey is one of my favorite athletes in the league. I know he plays a different position, but I love how he brings the swag and plays with a dawg mentality. He talks trash, and he’s able to back it up. I want to try and follow his mindset. As far as linemen, the best guys that I watch are Quenton Nelson, Zack Martin, David Bahktiari and Trent Williams.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite artist of all-time has to be Drake. My favorite rapper right now is Lil Baby.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My Mom makes layered baked spaghetti which is my favorite.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I’ll play video games, watch TV and spend time with my girlfriend.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play for the love of the game. I remember finding a league that would let me play as a big kid at 10 years old. That wasn’t easy, but I really wanted to play. I had a lot of fun when I was younger playing the game. As a teenager in high school, I realized that I could take this game of  football somewhere, get a free education and maybe one day get to the NFL. We all want to get drafted, make it to the NFL and make lots of money, but in the meanwhile, I also strive to be the best. I have a very competitive spirit and always want to win.

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