“Javon likes to hit; he never turns down contact,” Manning said. “When he makes contact, he stops the ball carrier at the point of attack.”
But Harris’ chances of playing early have as much to do with circumstance as his ability.
Harris, an early enrollee, is already on campus and will benefit from participating with the Sooners during spring drills.
History suggests that those players tend to play sooner than those who enroll in the fall.
“Getting into their offseason is very important to learn their system and getting to practice with his teammates, that will elevate his status,” Manning said. “He’ll learn early what it takes to play at that level.”
Harris also plays a position in flux in Norman.
In 2009, the Sooners will be replacing a pair of three-year starters at safety in Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes.
And the only other safety with any playing experience, Quinton Carter, will be a senior next season, meaning in 2010, at least one starting safety spot will be up for grabs.
“When you sign with OU, you’re going to have great competition, and you have to work and stay healthy,” Manning said. “Javon will welcome the competition; he’s never shied away from that.”