Once a week leading up to spring drills, Irish Illustrated senior editor Tim Prister will focus on one position, analyze the competition, and speculate as to some of the story lines that could emerge. This week, it's Notre Dame's offensive linemen.
2005 (JUNIOR): Has started all 11 games this season at left tackle ... has a string of 31 consecutive starts at left tackle ... has helped an explosive offense that has averaged 38.2 points and 489.1 yards per game (334.3 passing, 154.8 rushing) ... helped lead the way as halfback Darius Walker has eclipsed 100 rushing yards in seven games this season ... key factor in the offense not allowing a sack against Purdue as the Irish racked up 49 points, 621 total yards and 468 passing yards in a 49-28 win over the Boilermakers while controlling the ball for 36:03 ... helped lead the offense to 560 yards while controlling the ball for 36:56 versus Washington, in addition to aiding Walker's career-high 128-yard rushing effort versus the Huskies ... big part of an offensive outing versus USC that produced 31 points (most by a Trojans foe since 2003), 417 total yards (264 passing, 153 rushing) and 28 first downs while controlling the ball for an astounding 38:40 ... anchored an offensive line that led the Irish to 49 points, 511 yards of offense and seven touchdowns in a 49-23 win over BYU ... helped the Irish offense to a big day against Tennessee's highly-rated defense as Notre Dame's offense produced 27 points and 343 yards ... prevented Navy from registering a quarterback sack as the Irish moved for 505 yards, 221 rushing yards and 284 yards via the pass in a 42-21 victory over the Midshipmen ... helped the Irish offense rack up 663 yards (231 rushing, 432 passing) and five touchdowns in the win over Stanford ... has logged 329:50 of playing time with 70 special teams appearances.
2004 (SOPHOMORE): The winner of Notre Dame's offensive lineman of the year, earning the Westwood One/Guardian Life Insurance Guardian of the Year Award ... a starter in all 12 games at left tackle ... major factor in Notre Dame's ability to rush for 195 yards against top-ranked USC, the most rushing yards allowed by the Trojans in two years ... had a solid day versus Navy as the Irish ran for 204 yards ... part of an offensive line that protected Brady Quinn as he passed for four touchdowns versus Washington ... helped clear the way for Darius Walker's 115-yard rushing performance versus Michigan ... made 39 special teams appearances and logged 362:45 of playing time.
2003 (FRESHMAN): Played in the season's final eight games as the starting right tackle ... only the third true freshman in Notre Dame history to start on the offensive line ... the Irish averaged 219.0 yards rushing per game with him in the lineup ... one of six freshmen to see significant playing time for the Irish ... named a first-team Freshman All-American by Rivals.com and a second-team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News ... featured in August on MTV's "True Life" (the subject was "I Want The Perfect Body") talking about his efforts to gain weight over the summer so he could play as a freshman lineman at Notre Dame ... made his first career appearance against Pittsburgh (when Dan Stevenson moved to right guard) and helped Jones rush for a school-record 262 yards ... helped Jones rush for 221 versus Navy and 218 against Stanford, marking the first time a Notre Dame player rushed for 200-plus yards in a game three times in a single season ... with Harris in the lineup, Jones rushed for 1,062 of his 1,214 yards (87.5 percent) ... played 215:05 on offense and made 32 special teams appearances.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Cretin-Derham High School in St. Paul, Minn. ... a USA Today first-team All-American ... ranked second on the Detroit Free-Press 20-player "Best of the Midwest" squad ... rated 51st on ESPN's list of the nation's top 100 players ... named to the 10-member Super Preps team by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ... a 2002 Old Spice Red Zone All-American ... all-state and all-metro in both 2001 and 2002 ... did not allow a sack either of his final two seasons ... a three-year starter on both the offensive and defensive lines, helping his team go 10-2 in 2002 and reach the state quarterfinals ... helped his team post a 23-3 combined record in 2000 and 2001 ... made 46 tackles and 11 sacks in 2002 at defensive tackle ... played in the U.S. Army All-America game in San Antonio ... also was an all-conference wrestler, lettering two years ... a member of National Honor Society and student council co-president as a senior ... a member of Junior ROTC ... part of St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly's Youth Advisory Board ... from the same high school as current Irish tight end Marcus Freeman, fullback Rashon Powers-Neal and former Notre Dame baseball All-America pitcher J.P. Gagne (`03) ... former Miami Hurricane and Chicago Bears quarterback Steve Walsh, current Carolina Panthers' quarterback Chris Weinke and baseball's 2001 No. 1 draft pick, Joe Mauer (now of the Minnesota Twins), also went to Cretin-Derham Hall ... full name is Ryan Emerson Wilcox Harris ... one of three children for Kathleen and Kevin Harris ... father Kevin played football at Wisconsin-Stout ... born March 11, 1985, in Minneapolis ... enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters with a major in economics and political science.
The good: Harris has all the athletic talent to succeed at the next level as a blind-side pass protector. He has good footwork and is able to adjust in pass protection to force speed rushers wide of the pocket. Harris shows good awareness and lateral quickness and has the ability to handle counter moves to the inside.
The bad: Harris will need to improve his intensity to reach his full potential in the NFL. He relied on superior athletic ability to win in most situations at Notre Dame and needs development in several areas, particularly in his overall strength. Harris needs to add more muscle to show he can carry 300 pounds in the NFL. He was vulnerable to the outside pass rush by top edge defenders during Senior Bowl practices. Harris has only adequate strength and lacks a powerful base to get good movement at the point of attack with any consistency.
Outlook: Harris is a marginal Top 100 prospect who probably will go early in the third round. He has the athletic ability, size and potential to start eventually, but he probably will begin his career at guard until he develops further. He should be a first-day pick because of his athletic ability and performance. The Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs like him.
This is special to Rivals.com from Frank Coyle. Coyle has written about the NFL Draft in his newsletter for more than...[Complete Bio]