Name: Connor Harris
Projected NFL Position: LB
Draft Class: 2017
Q & A with Connor Harris
What is your name, school, and position?
Connor Harris, ILB, Lindenwood University.
What is your height and weight?
6’0 243 LBS
What do you consider your biggest asset on the field?
My speed and also being able to react quickly.
Why did you choose your current college to further your football career?
I chose Lindenwood University because I wanted to make a impact quickly (was able to start as a true freshman), and I also loved the team and coaches along with the great degree program I wanted to pursue (criminal justice).
What is something about yourself, that most people don’t know?
Something that most people don’t know about me, is that I am married to my high school sweetheart.
What is one area of your game that you would like to improve, and what’s your plan to do so?
One thing I would love to improve about my game is working my hands better. Whether that is getting off of blocks, or working a move on a blitz. I plan to really work on them by doing different drills during my off season training.
Who is the best player that you’ve played against so far in your career?
John Brown from Pitt State.
Who is your favorite NFL player at your position and why?
Luke Kuechly or Brian Cushing because they fly to the ball, make plays, and are exciting to watch.
What NFL team is your favorite and why?
Kansas City Chiefs, because I am from Kansas City, and grew up going to games all the time.
Career- National Defensive Player of the Year (2016) and Conference Defensive Player of the Year (2015) … four-time all-MIAA selection and three-time All-American … started all 48 games that he appeared in during his career … the NCAA All-Division record holder for career tackles with 633 tackles … averaged over 13 tackles a game in his career … had 38 double-figure tackles games in his career, and five games with 20 or more tackles … a three-way player who has also contributed to the team on offense and special teams.
2016- Winner of the Cliff Harris Award as the National Small College Defensive Player of the Year … AFCA first-team All-American … invited to the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine … first-team all-MIAA … a team captain … earned eight of his team’s weekly awards, including four Defensive Player of the Week honors … ranked third in NCAA Division II with 12.5 tackles a game, and fifth with 6.7 solo tackles a contest … ranked second in the MIAA in both of those categories … led the team in tackles, and was second in tackles for loss … also has a sack, two interceptions, one pass breakup, and one forced fumble on the year … returned one interception for a touchdown in the win over Nebraska-Kearney … his interception against Missouri Southern led to the team’s first touchdown in an eventual win … had a season-high 17 tackles against Pittsburg State … had a season-high 12 solo tackles versus nationally-ranked Emporia State … has double-figure tackles in every game but one … recorded at least one tackle for loss in every game but two … broke the NCAA Division II career tackles record versus Northeastern State, and broke the NCAA All-Division career tackles record against Fort Hays State … punted 19 times on the season and averaged 38.8 yards per punt … had six punts inside the 20-yard line, including three in one contest against Northeastern State … in his lone game as the primary punter, had eight kicks for a season-high 43.0 average against Pittsburg State … took over placekicking duties late in the season and was a perfect 12-of-12 on PATs … recovered two onside kicks to help seal two victories … named to the MIAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll for the fifth time.
2015- Cliff Harris Finalist … first-team Conference Commissioner’s Association (formerly Daktronics) All-American … first-team D2football.com All-American … Don Hansen second-team All-American … Conference Commissioner’s Association first-team all-region … MIAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year … first-team all-MIAA … a team captain … MIAA Defensive Player of the Week once during the season … earned eight team weekly awards, including being the team’s Defensive Player of the Week three times and the team’s Offensive Player of the Week once … started all 11 games … set a NCAA Division II single-season record by averaging 16.7 tackles a game, and recording 184 total tackles … led all levels of NCAA football with 16.7 tackles a game … led the MIAA in total tackles, ranked ninth in tackles for loss, and tied for third in fumble recoveries … led or tied for the team-high with 86 solo tackles, 98 assisted tackles, 184 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, nine passes defended, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble … recorded at least 13 tackles in every game, and had two games with over 20 tackles … had 15 tackles in the season finale against Northeastern State, including the tackles which broke the MIAA career record and the NCAA single-season mark … averaged nearly 20 tackles a game against nationally-ranked teams, including 47 in back-to-back games against Emporia State (24) and Northwest Missouri (23) … collected a season-high 3.5 tackles for loss against Fort Hays State and 1.5 sacks against Nebraska-Kearney … recorded two pass breakups versus Central Missouri … had a hand in four turnovers on the season against Fort Hays State, Nebraska-Kearney, Missouri Southern, and Central Oklahoma … had two third-down stops that forced punts against Nebraska-Kearney to help Lindenwood preserve its lead … recorded a team-high 144 of his tackles on rushing plays … on offense, rushed 26 times for 121 yards and three touchdowns … had season-high 51 rushing yards against Missouri Southern and Northeastern State … had a season-long 31-yard rush versus Northeastern State … scored touchdowns versus Nebraska-Kearney, Missouri Southern, and Northeastern State … had seven rushes for first downs or touchdowns … had three rushes of 20 yards or longer … on special teams, punted 10 times for a 37.8 average … had a long punt of 51 yards versus Missouri Western … named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
2014- Second-team Daktronics All-American … honorable mention All-American by D2Football.com and by Don Hansen … Daktronics All-Super Region 3 first-team … first-team All-MIAA … team Defensive MVP … team Leadership Award winner … a team captain … started all 11 games … led the team and the MIAA with 152 tackles … ranked third in NCAA Division II with 7.5 solo tackles a game, and fourth with 13.8 tackles a contest … broke his own school records for the most tackles, solo tackles, and assisted tackles in a season since 2004 … his tackles per game ranked tied for 13th in the NCAA Division II records books (since 2000), and is also ranked in the NCAA Division II single-season records for total tackles, solo tackles, and solo tackles per game … recorded 83 solo tackles and 69 assisted tackles … collected 123 tackles on rushing plays, 28 on passing plays, and one on special teams … recorded double-figure tackles in nine of his team’s 11 games … is one of two players in NCAA Division II with three games of 20 or more tackles … in the season opening upset over Washburn, he recorded two interceptions, both of which set up Lindenwood touchdowns in an eventual six-point victory … recorded 11 solo tackles against Fort Hays State, the first of two games on the season with double-figure solo tackles … had his first 20-tackle game with 21 against Missouri Western in a nationally-televised contest, and also recovered a fumble in that game … recorded a season-high 23 tackles one week later at Emporia State, which tied for the 19th-most in a single-game in the NCAA Division II record books … the 23 tackles also tied for the second-most in NCAA Division II in 2014 … had his final 20-tackle game with 20 against Central Oklahoma … recorded 14 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, and 2.0 sacks in the season-ending victory over Northeastern State … showed his all-around football abilities when he rushed for 188 yards and four touchdowns against Northeastern State … the 188 rushing yards were the 14th-most in school history, and the four rushing touchdowns tied for the most in the MIAA in 2014 and were the third-most in Lindenwood history … scored the game-winning touchdown in that game and averaged 17.1 yards per rush, including two rushes over 60 yards … averaged 13.0 tackles per game on the road, and 14.4 tackles a game at home … twice named the MIAA Defensive Player of the Week and once named the MIAA Offensive Player of the Week … named the team Defensive Player of the Week four times, and also earned the team’s Iron Man award three times … named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
2013- Received a medical redshirt after being injured early in the season … a team captain … started the first three games of the year … recorded 33 tackles , two pass breakups, and 0.5 tackles for loss … led the team in tackles versus Lincoln and Southwest Baptist … recorded 17 tackles in the win over Lincoln, including 12 solo tackles, and two pass breakups … named the team’s Defensive Player of the Game against Lincoln and was the team’s Hammer winner versus Southwest Baptist and Central Missouri … named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
2012- Honorable mention all-MIAA … named the team’s Freshman of the Year … started every game as a true freshman … led the MIAA with 126 total tackles and 66 assisted tackles, and tied for the conference high with 60 solo tackles … his 10.5 tackles per game was second in the MIAA and 19th in NCAA Division II … finished fourth on the team, and first among linebackers, with 8.0 tackles for loss … also recorded one sack, four pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble … had double-figure tackle totals in seven games and recorded eight or more tackles in every game on the season … had a team-high 95 tackles on running … caused two turnovers against Southwest Baptist with one fumble recovery and one forced fumble …also recovered a fumble against Truman State … had a season-high 2.0 tackles for loss against Fort Hays State and Emporia State … recorded his sack on a third-down play against Emporia State … collected two pass breakups against Washburn … had a season-high 15 tackles at Pittsburg State … had 11 tackles in the Mineral Water Bowl … was also used on offense and special teams … rushed 12 times for 22 yards … rushed for four first downs, with two on third-down and two on fourth-down plays … punted four times for a 32.0 average, with one punt inside the 20-yard line … returned one punt for 10 yards and one kickoff for 15 yards … named the team’s Defensive Player of the Game against Truman State … earned the team’s Hard Hat award for the Emporia State contest … named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
Harris has been arguably one of the most dominant defenders at any level over the last four years. His blue collar approach to the position, shows up on film time and again. Though he doesn’t have elite level athleticism, his ability to diagnose a play and finish tackles is what makes him special. He could easily find himself on a roster next year, and could contribute immediately on Special Teams. Connor Harris graded out as a Draftable prospect by Tyrant Scouting here.