RECRUIT SCOOP: Harris the next in line of nationally-ranked North Shore stars?
The names of past and present NFL players Corey Redding, Chykie Brown, Earl Mitchell, Kevin Rutland, Dorance Armstrong, Emeke Egbule and K'Lavon Chaisson set the bar over the years for the North Shore defense – a unit of fast, heat-seeking missiles dating back to coach David Aymond and three-time state champion coach Jon Kay.
Defense wins championships and North Shore has always had a nasty group on that side of the ball.
So, who is the next big thing on D?
At 6-foot-3, cornerback Denver Harris cracked the starting lineup last season as a sophomore. Before he ever took the field for the first time on varsity, he held an offer from the University of Tennessee.
"It was tough. I was new to the program and the older guys hadn't seen me before," Harris laughed. "Sure, I got 'bullied' a little bit. They wanted to see what I was made of. They started respecting me because they saw I was all about business. I wasn't being a little kid about it. I had to earn their respect."
The first-team, all-district selection moved over from the Alief-area entering high school and plays well beyond his years.
"It really took off after I went to the Baylor camp last summer," he said. "I asked to cover all the DI guys who were going to be seniors. I was the youngest guy there and did well. It just showed that 'dog' mentality I have."
With his size and speed, Harris is a bit of a unicorn -- a college defensive coordinator's dream.
"I wasn't really surprised I was ranked so high when the recruiting lists came out," he said. "We just won state in the hardest division in Texas and I faced some really tough competition. I have the size and I feel like I'm one of the fastest DBs in the nation."
He also isn't afraid to put his head into the fray.
"I showed that I can play downhill," he said. "I'm not afraid to be physical. I think I showed coaches on film that I'm not soft."
Harris tries to pattern his game after NFL star Richard Sherman.
"I haven't really got to talk any mess like him, yet," he laughed. "I think we are about the same size and have a lot of confidence."
The avid Call of Duty gamer, Harris leans on his coaches and veterans to show him the ropes.
"I just stick to the North Shore program, keep my head down, stay humble and do the reps," he said. "Coach (Theadis) Reagins (corner coach) is my man. We talk football, but we also talk academics and behavior. Just how to carry myself. I'll be a junior and need to take on a bigger leadership role next year. I like how Dematrius (Davis) does it… he takes care of his business and it's all love with him. He just does his thing."
With the national ranking, hype and offers surrounding Harris, he's going to have a bullseye on his back next season and on the recruiting trail.
"I'm going to get to some schools outside of Texas this summer," he said. "I'm really looking for a place that feels like home, whether if it's miles away. I'd like to start as a freshman of course, but I'm looking for a staff that leads me where I'm trying to go."
"Hopefully, to the league of course," he said.