#22: Dustin Harris

Mike Zarrilli

We continue to highlight this year's seniors.

Dustin Harris was the only freshman in 2009 to start the first ten games of the season (before being sidelined for the Baylor game with an injury). From the beginning, he was one of those players that was exciting to watch, no matter what he was doing. Even when he was making freshman mistakes, he was doing so at full speed. He began to settle into the role of punt returner.

2010 saw a change in defensive strategy as Tim DeRuyter took over for Joe Kines and implemented the 3-4. Harris' role became more of a nickel position, yet he still led the team in interceptions. He picked up his first career punt return for a touchdown against Louisiana Tech, the first by an Aggie player in well over a decade. He flourished in both roles. As a junior, he would continue to showcase his versatility as a defensive back while also leading the nation in punt return average. He was used more in blitzing packages to pressure QBs and tallied a couple of sacks.

2012 saw another change in defense as Mark Snyder arrived with Kevin Sumlin. Snyder reverted back to the 4-3, and Dustin locked up one of the corner spots. He provided great senior leadership in the secondary, leading the team in passes defensed as well as leading the nation in total punt return yards.

Dustin Harris is one of the more dynamic players we've seen come through A&M in a while. He always had the ability to change a game on one play. Dustin brought excitement onto the field every time he stepped on it and ended up as a very complete defensive player after being asked to fill a number of roles throughout his career under three different defensive systems. And he'll be in the A&M and SEC record books as a punt returner for a long time.

Best game: 2012 Alabama.

Dustin Harris quietly put together an outstanding game against the Tide. His three punt returns for 30 yards were valuable in a game against Alabama where every play counts. He also recovered the TJ Yeldon fumble in the fourth quarter to stop a lengthy Alabama drive. We would score our final TD less than a minute later. But the key play came on third-and-goal at the end of the game when AJ McCarron dropped back to pass, saw no one open, and decided to scramble. He got around Nealy on contain and for a moment it looked as if he would somehow manage to lurch into the end zone for the lead. Then #22 came flying in from the end zone and delivered a crushing hit, stopping McCarron at the 2. The next play was a turnover.

Most memorable moment:

DON'T DON'T DON'T JUST GET AWAY FROM IT WAIT OKAY I GUESSS…NO…GO GO GO!!!

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