Feb 5th, 2023 00:00, by Dominik Krauss

Hamburg Sea Devils sign former Washington Redskins defensive back Deion Harris

The talented defensive back will join one of the best defenses in the European League of Football.

Former NFL defensive back Deion Harris will join the Hamburg Sea Devils. ©North Dakota Fighting Hawks

Feb 5th, 2023 00:00, by Dominik Krauss

Hamburg Sea Devils sign former Washington Redskins defensive back Deion Harris

The talented defensive back will join one of the best defenses in the European League of Football.

The Hamburg Sea Devils landed another outstanding addition to Kendral Ellison’s dominant defense. With Deion Harris, the two-time finalists added an extremely talented player, who seemed destined for a career in the NFL before suffering a devastating injury.

From FCS football to first round draft pick?

Deion Harris showed his athletic potential early on, playing wide receiver, cornerback, and quarterback for Hibbing high school. Despite earning All-Conference honors in his junior and senior year, Harris was not highly recruited and committed to FCS school North Dakota. Harris took the field in every game for the Fighting Hawks, contributing at cornerback as well as one special teams, collecting multiple tackles along with 0.5 TFL and sacks and one interception. The son of former NFL safety Johnnie Harris, started all 11 games during his sophomore year and ended the season with 35 tackles, two interceptions and an astonishing 12 pass breakups, setting a new record for the program’s Division I era.

Have you seen this yet?

But it was his junior season that really put the 6 foot 3 on the map of scouts and media all over the US. His 36 tackles, 14 defended passes and a conference best five interceptions, with three of them being returned for touchdowns, got him selected to the All-Big Sky first-team and made him an AP second-team All-American. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranked rated the Fighting Hawks CB among the nation’s best senior cornerbacks, while The Sporting News ranked him as the 18th overall prospect for the 2018 draft class, just two spots behind Saquon Barkley.

That all changed when Harris tore his Achilles tendon in July of 2019.

Road of recovery and way to the NFL

Following his injury, it took Harris six months to walk on his own and another six to get back to 100 percent. After redshirting the 2017 season, the Minnesota native returned to the field in 2018. With 27 tackles, four TFLs, seven pass breakups and an interception, Harris played a good season but his injury shied away NFL teams leading to him not getting selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

After visiting the Green Bay Packers rookie camp, Harris got signed to the Washington Redskins, where Jay Gruden, with whom his dad played at the Tampa Bay Storm, was the head coach. Gruden liked Harris’ tape, whose body type and skill set was reminiscent of his dad’s, offering potential at the cornerback and safety position.

The defensive back faced tough competition in a stacked Washington cornerback room featuring Josh Norman, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and rookie Jimmy Moreland. Harris played in every preseason game for Washington, collecting 8 total tackles. The talented defensive back did not make the 53-man roster and was among the final wave of players getting cut before the deadline. He was signed back to the practice squad in September but was released again in October, ending his NFL career.

Harris went on to play two games for the DC Defenders in 2020, collecting three tackles, before the XFL folded after just five gamedays. After two months with the Toronto Argonauts in 2022, the defensive back is now coming to Europe.

Deion Harris played in the XFL before the league folded. ©DC Defenders

New adventure in Europe

In 2023, the former Fighting Hawk will play his first season in Europe, joining a team that has been one of the best defenses in the European League of Football over the past two seasons. The talented defensive back will be coached by Kendral Ellison, the most sawn after defensive coordinator in all of Europe, who can’t wait to get to work with his new standout:

“Deion fits exactly what we were looking for. His physical attributes and playing experience are eye popping. But for me it was his attitude and hunger to be great that sold him the most. His mentality fits perfectly with the Brotherhood. After stops in the NFL, CFL, and XFL he will bring a level of professionalism that will become contagious. I’m not looking for him to be Rogers or Brown, but simply for him to be Deion Harris and show the world what he’s capable of. Europe will soon find out!”

Harris is looking forward to his first season with the Hamburg Sea Devils:

“I feel this is all part of God’s plan to be a part of this organization, I’m honored to go to war with these guys by my side. The expectation for this coming season has no limits, we’re going all the way or we ain’t going. Excited is an understatement for how I feel about this season, believe it or not we’re coming for it all.”

Don’t be surprised if Harris, with his outstanding size and skillset that allows him to play cornerback as well as safety, establishes himself as one of the, if not the most dominant pass defender in the European League of Football.

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