Texas A&M Football: What You Need to Know About Aggies DB Dustin Harris

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistJuly 22, 2012

Texas A&M Football: What You Need to Know About Aggies DB Dustin Harris

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    No player has caused the dichotomy in emotions from Aggie fans like Dustin Harris. The senior cornerback from Livingstong (TX) High School has been both brilliant and horrible during his career at A&M.

    He has the size and speed that makes NFL scouts drool, but his inconsistent play on the field has caused some Aggies to count down the days until he graduates.

    Harris may be the most valuable player on the Aggies team as they enter their inaugural season in the SEC. If he plays to his potential, then the Ags could have a much-improved defense.

    This is a look at the Ags' senior defensive back.

Harris Has NFL Size and Speed

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    From a physical standpoint, Harris has the tools of a NFL first round draft pick. He's what NFL scouts dream of finding at cornerback.

    Harris is 6'0", 175 lbs and has ran the 40 in 4.3 seconds. He has the size and speed to be an elite corner in college and on Sundays.

    The issue with Harris has always been his lack of consistency on the field.

He Is Wildly Inconsistent

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    Dustin Harris has frustrated Aggies with his inconsistent play for the past three years. He can be brilliant and horrible—sometimes in the same game.

    As a corner, he has had shown the ability to be an elite cover corner, like in the 2009 Independence Bowl when he held A.J. Green to 57 yards on six receptions. He can also be horrible as he was in the 2011 loss to KSU where he allowed a long TD reception late in the fourth quarter to let KSU back in a game they would eventually win.

    As a punt returner, he can return a punt for a touchdown against Kansas one week and muff a punt against Texas the next.

    Harris has the tools to be an elite corner, but he has never been able to play good football for an entire season.

Harris Led the Nation in Punt Return Average in 2011

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    Harris led the nation in 2011 in punt returns with an average of 18.6 yards per return. He had a 72-yard return for a touchdown against Kansas.

    He has the potential to be an impact player in the SEC where field position is of utmost importance. Harris, more than any other player on the team, can directly affect the fortunes of his team with just one play in a game.

Harris Was a Zero Star Recruit

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    Dustin Harris was an unknown recruit when he committed to Mike Sherman early in the summer of 2008. He was a thin quarterback from tiny Livingston High School.

    Sherman saw him play and felt he could help the Aggies at corner, so he offered Harris a scholarship. Harris played as a true freshman.

    Before he signed with A&M, the people who ranked recruits caught on and awarded him three stars. This zero, and then 3-star recruit led the nation in punt returns in 2011.

    That's why Mike Sherman is coaching in the NFL, and the people, who rank the recruits, are sitting behind a computer.

He Is a Pretty Good Blitzer

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    Harris had two sacks on corner blitzes in 2011. He also was tied for second on the team with eight passes broken up.

    Harris totaled 33 tackles on the season with one interception. As a senior, he will really need to step up his play against the run.

    The Ags are going to need him to be more physical against SEC running games.

Harris Could End Up the Highest Drafted Aggie in 2013

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    Harris is listed as the backup at corner on the depth chart right now. As hard as it is to believe, if he wins a starting spot during August and has a strong season, that could result in him being the top Aggie draft pick in 2013.

    Harris has all the tools that a scout looks for. He just lacks consistency in his play. If he can step his game up in 2012, then it would benefit him a lot financially.