Cliff Harris Released by the Philadelphia Eagles
Cliff Harris, once a standout for the University of Oregon football program at cornerback, has been cut by the Philadelphia Eagles.
A tweet from the Philadelphia Eagles confirmed his release:
#Eagles waive CB Cliff Harris. Four more moves must be made by Monday 4 PM— Eagles Insider (@EaglesInsider) August 26, 2012
Harris, who was part of the Oregon football program from 2009-2011, made headlines on and off the field. As a cornerback and kick/punt returner for the Ducks, Cliff Harris was one of the best in college football.
Due to injuries in the Ducks’ secondary in 2009, Harris’ redshirt was taken off and immediately began to contribute for the Ducks. Though he only appeared in eight games that season, Harris recorded a total of 19 tackles, broke up eight passes, and recorded one interception.
A much more significant contributor in 2010, Harris used his big play ability to stifle opposing air attacks while racking up the yards in returning the ball. An All-America return man selection by the Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, ESPN.com, and SI.com, Harris used his speed and deceptive ability to return four punt returns for touchdowns while also racking up 546 punt return yards.
Harris was also an outstanding cornerback, earning a second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press and SI.com. He finished the year with 23 passes defended and six interceptions.
Unfortunately for Cliff Harris and the Ducks’ football program, his success on the field did not translate to success off of the field. Harris was numerously in opposition to rules and never could put his act together away from the football program. After numerous traffic violations and a citation for marijuana possession, one of the more publicized issues at the time, Cliff Harris was dismissed from the Oregon football program on December 5, 2011 after not playing a single snap during the season.
His dismissal ended what was more of the tumultuous tenures by a player at the University of Oregon.
After being dismissed by Oregon, Harris would go on to focus on NFL preparations. Though many knocked him for being a little undersized for the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Harris as an undrafted free agent this past April.
And, from all indications, Harris was performed well in his first few days despite not being able to join the Eagles for OTA’s. He outshined other cornerbacks the first few days of training camp before suffering an ankle injury that would ultimately result in a deterioration of play.
Harris began to fall behind other cornerbacks and could never get back to the exciting player that he was earlier in training camp and at the University of Oregon. The playmaker and ball-hawk who was once one of the best in college football could not translate his skills to the NFL, cited for being fairly undersized and lacking the strength required to go toe-to-toe with NFL receivers.
Despite his release by the Eagles, Harris figures to find a home relatively quickly as many NFL teams have depth issues at their cornerback position.
According to NBC Philadelphia, Harris was one of many players cut by the Eagles as they must trim their roster from 90 to 75 by 4 p.m. EST on Monday.