C Nick Harris (4.25.20)

C Nick Harris:

On being drafted by the Browns and entering the NFL:

“I am excited. This is a dream I have had now since I can remember. I have been playing football since a young age. I am excited. I am ready to get to work when all this stuff clears up and I just want to play football again so I appreciate the Cleveland Browns organization for taking the chance on me and giving me opportunity.”


On if he feels more comfortable playing C or G, given he most recently played C but started at both positions:

“Like you said, just because I played center last few years, I feel comfortable there, but I also feel comfortable at guard. Wherever I can get on the field the fastest and contribute will be good for me because I have those two years playing guard. Anywhere I could just start playing football will be good.”


On overcoming his height, given he is shorter than the typical interior OL:

“It starts with technique. It starts with also the mental aspect of the game. I take both of those pretty seriously and how I go about playing football. Also, it is just a will. I love playing O line.  I like finishing people. I take pride in what I do. Honestly, I think it helps me, I get better leverage under people. I have long arms for my height. I think at the end of the day, it helps me more than it hurts me.”


On if he prides himself on his leadership ability and vocal nature:

“Yeah, it is definitely my style. I am an  outgoing guy. I love talking. I love being around and I am a real social guy. If need be in a locker room where I had to take the reins and lead my guys, I was not afraid to say it. That is definitely something I pride myself on and I got to definitely do that at Washington.”


On winning Washington’s most inspirational player award:

“That meant a lot because it was voted on by my teammates. It just goes to show how much they liked me being around and how much they fed off me. It was truly an honor for sure because that is one of the most prestigious awards on the on the Washington football team. I am just glad that my teammates thought so highly of me. I want to continue to build on that characteristic on the next level.”


 On joining an offense with QB Baker Mayfield, WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the Browns OL and other talented players:

“Anywhere I went, I was just glad for the opportunity. There is definitely a lot of talent on the Browns. I am excited to get around these guys, get to work and find my way on the next level. Like you said, there is a lot of talent. I am excited.”


On if he is looking forward to learning from veterans like G Joel Bitonio and C JC Tretter: 

“Oh yeah, 100 percent. I watch those guys a lot when I watch film and just try to better my game. Those guys have been playing ball for a while. They are still doing it at a high level. I am very excited to learn from those two guys and trying to soak up everything I can from them.”


On how former NFL player Pat Harlow being his position coach in high school helped his development:

“It definitely helped me in my development as a lineman. I started playing O line pretty late in my career. I started playing my sophomore year of high school. When he came around, he really instilled that pride and passion in O line play into me. I still talk to him to this day. Whatever I need, he always helps me. I was training down in Orange County at my high school, and he helped me out with technique stuff. He is just a great resource to have. He is very knowledgeable. He definitely is an idol of mine, for sure.”


On his determination to get on the field in college, given he earned a starting position as a freshman after initially planning to redshirt:

“Honestly, like you said, I went in there expecting to redshirt. I was 17 years old. I was 275 pounds at the time. I wanted that year to try to get bigger and learn the offense. When I got in, I learned the offense pretty fast, and it allowed me to play really fast and violent like I like playing. They thought I could contribute to the team that year. I sat down with (former Washington Head) Coach (Chris) Peterson and my O line coach at the time, (former Washington offensive line coach and Colts offensive line coach) Chris Strausser. They gave me a chance and asked me if I wanted to do it. I was like, ‘Hell yeah. I want to play as soon as I can because taking a year off from football sounds horrible (laughter).’ I took the chance and I learned a lot that year about how I need to build myself and about how I need to learn how to play. Honestly, it was probably the best thing for me.”


On if he was nervous in the College Football Playoff game against Alabama his freshman year:

“Oh my God. I just turned 18. I kind of blacked out, honestly (laughter). It was definitely a great experience, and I learned a lot about what I need to do to get better. It definitely helped me in the long run and in my development as a player.”


On if ever he gets bothered when people mention his height as a disadvantage for where he should or shouldn’t play:

“That has been the case since I was getting recruited in high school was my height. It used to bother me back then, but I have learned to embrace it and just use that to fuel how I play and keep that chip on my shoulder because a lot of people do not think I can play at a high level at this height. It helps me play with better leverage. That is what I always tell people. I get under guys a little better, and I try to play with sound technique. I think at the end of the day, it helps me.”


On when he realized he could compete at a high level in college and potentially reach the NFL:

“I think it would be my sophomore in college. After I put some weight on, it made my life a lot easier. I got up to 295 and I was playing really well as a sophomore at guard. At the end of that season, when they told me they were moving me to center, I knew had a chance because that was my natural position. That spring ball and all those reps, I started to realize I can definitely play at the next level and compete. It all dawned on me during that time.”


On if he has watched film of Bitonio and Tretter and how much he looks forward to learning from the veterans:

“I definitely watch their film. I watch tons of NFL tape. It does not matter who and it does not matter what team. I just like watching how those guys play at the next level. They are just sound players. Their technique is always on point. That is definitely something I have taken from both of those guys. They play very well together. You need to have that continuity as an O line. I am more than excited to learn and pick their brains to see how they go about not just on the field but how they carry themselves off the field and what I can learn from that.”


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