Harris in 2012
|No. 25 Denver Broncos|
|Date of birth:||June 18, 1989|
|Place of birth:||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||199 lb (90 kg)|
|High school:||Bixby (OK)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2016|
Christopher Harris Jr. (born June 18, 1989) is an American football cornerback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Kansas. He was signed by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent on July 27, 2011.
In his first season, Harris was named to the NFL All Rookie Team and achieved Breakout Player of the Year accolades. Harris won Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos against the Carolina Panthers. He is known for his off the field charitable activities, and in 2012, he started the Chris Harris Jr. Foundation to support children in need.
Harris was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma 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.
Harris played football in college at the University of Kansas, where he received numerous accolades and produced numbers that set him apart as one of the most successful defensive players in the history of Kansas football. By the end of his college career, Harris had landed himself at No. 2 on the Kansas football all-time tackles list. He also joined as a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity while in college.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|5 ft 10 in||194 lb||33½ in||9¼ in||4.48 s||1.59 s||2.63 s||4.20 s||7.01 s||34 in||10 ft 1 in||14 reps||N/A|
|All values from Pro Day|
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.
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.
Harris's success for the Broncos continued in 2012. Harris started a career-high 12 games, wherein he set a personal best 12 passes defended and 2.5 sacks. Harris 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 Robert Griffin III 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 and Super Bowl XLVIII. The Broncos beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game 26-16, but lost the Super Bowl to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 43-8.
The Broncos placed a second-round tender worth $2.187 million for one-year on Harris on March 7, 2014. On December 12, Harris signed a 5-year contract extension for more than $42 million. Harris had a breakout season in 2014, posting 3 interceptions, a sack, and a forced fumble. He led the league in least passing yards allowed and didn't give up a touchdown pass all season long, earning him a Pro Bowl selection and second team AP All-Pro honors.
Harris's most notable moment of the regular season was an interception he returned for a 75-yard touchdown off Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. The Broncos would soon win the game 16-10, as his pick six provided Denver its only touchdown of the game and proved to be the difference maker.
He finished the regular season with 58 tackles, 6 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.
Though dealing with a nagging shoulder injury in the AFC Divisional Round, Harris Jr. recorded 4 tackles and 1 pass deflection in the 23-16 divisional round win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, Harris recorded 6 tackles and 1 pass deflection in a 20-18 victory to advance to Super Bowl 50. In the Super Bowl, Harris recorded 5 tackles and a sack. The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10. From December 1, 2013 to December 15, 2015, he never conceded a touchdown to anyone he covered, a span of 35 games (including playoffs). He was ranked 52nd on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
In a rematch of Super Bowl 50 to open the season, the Broncos managed to defeat the Panthers by a score of 20-21. In the game, Harris intercepted Cam Newton in the third quarter, which allowed the Broncos offense to march down the field and grab the lead. On the Panthers final possession, on a 4th and 21, Newton threw an incompletion to Kelvin Benjamin, but Harris was flagged for illegal use of hands, giving the Panthers a 1st down, but the Broncos held on to win 20-21. In 2016, for the first time in Harris's career, the Broncos missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Harris was voted to his third consecutive Pro Bowl after the 2016 season and was named First-team All-Pro.
In 2012, Chris Harris Jr. married his college sweetheart, Leah, with whom he resides in Dallas during the off-season.
In 2013, 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 of America and The Salvation Army.
In addition to the foundation's work, Harris and his wife Leah are also involved with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Harris and his wife have a little brother and little sister that they personally mentor in addition to working with the organization in general.