Junior safety anxious for the start of fall camp.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Nic Harris knew exactly what he was
supposed to do last season. Then again... he didn't.
Harris spent much of the year rotating throughout the
defensive secondary unsure of how much playing time
he would get week in and week out. Through it all,
the junior from Alexandria, La., kept his head up and
continued to work hard so he would be ready when his
After primarily playing the nickel role
most of the year, Harris' preparation paid off when
he was inserted into the starting lineup for the final
three games of the season. He made the most of every
one of his opportunities, pacing the Sooners with four
interceptions on his way to All-Big 12 Second Team
honors. As the team's returning leading tackler and
with a more defined role heading into camp this year,
Harris is ready to take his game to the next level
We sat down with Nic during the annual football video intro shoot to talk about his expectations for the upcoming season.
On how his role changed throughout the course of last season:
of the things I would say is that I had to progress
and I had to progress fast. I didn't really know where
I was going to be playing and my weight was an issue,
but I just came out and kept pegging away and broke
into the starting spot at nickelback. Then a couple
of injuries happened and I had to play the strong and
the free, as well as the nickel. It's a great attest
to the coaches being patient with me and helping me
understand what was going on through the whole process."
On the mental difficulties he faced not knowing exactly where he was going to be playing:
you kind of beat yourself up and ask, 'Why do they
keep moving me?' You really don't understand the full
concept, but after awhile you realize that if you can
learn every other position on the field then you know
exactly what you're supposed to do when you are put
in that situation. As you grow into your own and become
a veteran, you start to understand the motives coaches
have for what they do."
On how that experience will help him heading into 2007:
going to help me greatly to make the plays I didn't
make last year. Last year, I came in just wanting to
go balls to the wall and was never really patient with
stuff and letting it come to me. This year I'm just
going to have to be more patient and understand the
concepts the coaches are trying to teach me."
On his confidence heading into the season:
have a lot of confidence. Being just a true sophomore
last year, the coaches had the presence within them
to put me into the Boise State game and big games like
that, and they had faith in me. So coming in I have
a lot of confidence and my expectations of being put
on the field are greater than most who haven't played.
So now the key is living up to those expectations.
I've learned that you just have to keep your self-esteem
level rising. You're going to take some lumps in the
beginning but every day it gets better."
On what he's been focusing on this summer to prepare for the upcoming year:
been working on my footwork, just trying to get from
point A to point B a little quicker. You can never
be too fast. I've also been working on not being as
hesitant and just being completely more sure of myself
so I am more confident on the field to make the plays
I didn't make last year."
On the Boise State game serving as motivation throughout the summer:
way I look at it is that it was a minor setback for
a major comeback. We had our highs and our lows last
year. We didn't start off the way we would have liked
but we ended up having a great year. We ended up winning
the Big 12 Championship and went to a BCS game. We
came up short but it was a great spectator's game.
This year we have to come out with a lot more presence
and just keep it going. We can't let up and we can't
get tired in the fourth quarter. We just have to give
it our all each and every game."
On his individual and team goals for the upcoming season:
individual goal is just to make everyone around me
better. If that means I have to take a backseat to
make us better then that's what I'll do. I just want
my team to win. I would like to make all-conference
and All-America, but that's going to come with just
being on the field and adapting to everything that's
going on at the time. Our team goal every year is to
get to the national championship, and what could be
better for me than going back to New Orleans, back
to my home state in Louisiana. We're trying to get
to the Sugar Bowl this year, win the Big 12 and be
On his excitement for the season to get started:
a tremendous amount of build-up. After that last game
from the previous season everybody's tired and guys
are banged up and just need a break. Then you get to
the summer and you're pounding away and pounding away.
You get to the point where two-a-days are almost here
and before you know it's the first game. There's nothing
like running out of that tunnel for the first game.
No matter who you're playing, the fan base is great
and they're going to be here every game. That's a great
attest to the things OU has done for us."