Former UND cornerback Harris nets rookie camp invites from Packers, Redskins

By Tom Miller

Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS — When the NFL draft ended Saturday, April 27, former University of North Dakota cornerback Deion Harris was a little nervous about not hearing much.

“It was quiet,” Harris said. “I thought maybe it was over, but then I figured some team might take a chance. Right after that, I heard from the Packers and then the Redskins called. It was probably a matter of 10-15 minutes after the draft.”

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Harris, who suffered a brutal Achilles injury that wiped out his entire 2017 season, has accepted invitations to the rookie minicamps of both the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins.

Harris will leave Thursday to attend the Packers’ minicamp on Friday. If Green Bay doesn’t offer a contract, he’ll attend Redskins minicamp.

“I feel good about it,” Harris said. “It’s exciting. I’m going to go there and work hard. There’s always something to prove. Even the top guys in the league are trying to prove something. I’m going to do the same thing.”

Through his agent, Harris had heard from the Packers and Redskins throughout the process and wasn’t surprised by those teams’ interest.

“I’m excited for what’s coming up,” Harris said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

Harris finished last season with 27 tackles and one interception.

In 2016, Harris had a breakout season that put him on the NFL radar and even saw early 2018 mock drafts planting him as a first-day selection.

In 2016, he was an All-American and first team all-Big Sky Conference pick. He had five interceptions and led the FCS by returning three of those back for scores.

Harris wasn’t the only former Fighting Hawk to make moves on Sunday following the draft. Former UND running back John Santiago and nose guard Tank Harris plan to attend Minnesota Vikings rookie minicamp, Fighting Hawks running backs coach Malcolm Agnew confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Harris, a 6-foot-3 Chicago native, had 18 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in 2018. In 2017, Harris was a second team all-Big Sky Conference defensive lineman.

Santiago was a three-time All-American as four-year star for the Hawks. The 5-foot-9 Andover, Minn., native, ran for 3,722 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Fighting Hawks. He also had 325 receiving yards and a touchdown, 2,186 kick return yards and a touchdown and 334 punt return yards and a touchdown.