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The best Bob Stoops-era Oklahoma football players: No. 10 defensive tackle Tommie Harris (2001-03)

by Ryan Aber Modified: July 12, 2013 at 10:05 am •  Published: July 12, 2013

NORMAN—As Bob Stoops enters his 15th season as Oklahoma’s head football coach this fall, Jason Kersey and myself look back at the top 15 OU football players during Stoops’ tenure. The list continues with No. 10, defensive tackle Tommie Harris.

Jersey No.: 97
Position: Defensive tackle
Years played: 2001-03
Hometown: Killeen, Texas
Big 12 championships: 1
National championships: 0
Individual awards won: 2003 Lombardi Award (Best lineman); 2003 Consensus All-American
Notable: Burst onto the scene as a true freshman, earning Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News and being named Big 12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. … As a junior, had 37 tackles, 10 for loss, five sacks and a fumble recovery. … Stats weren’t overwhelming but was a disruptive force in the middle of OU’s defensive line. … First-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2004. … Made three Pro Bowls for the Bears, 2005-07. … All-Pro in 2005. … Recently attempted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Oklahoma 41, North Carolina 27
When: Aug. 25, 2001
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman
Harris’ Day: Harris entered the game with big-time hype and immediately lived up to it. On the first play from scrimmage in the game, the true freshman wrapped up UNC’s Willie Parker behind the line of scrimmage. He had just two tackles the rest of the way as the Sooners controlled the game more than the final score indicated and signalled the beginning of one of the most dominant defensive line careers in Sooners history.

Oklahoma 52, Oklahoma State 9
When: Nov. 1, 2003
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman
Harris’ Day: The Sooners were leading comfortably, 38-9, in the fourth quarter when Harris made one of the most memorable plays of his career. After the Sooners held OSU on two consecutive plays from the OU 1, Harris made sure the Cowboys were held out of the end zone again on fourth down. Harris knocked the Cowboys’ guard back into fullback Shawn Willis, allowing Gayron Allen and Derrick Strait to swoop in for the tackle, punctuating an excellent defensive performance.

Oklahoma 37, Alabama 27
When: Sept. 7, 2002
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman
Harris’ Day: The Sooners let a 23-3 halftime lead melt away before retaking the lead in the fourth. Harris helped put the game away in the final minute, putting pressure on Crimson Tide quarterback Tyler Watts, forcing Watts to fumble. Eric Bassey picked up the ball and went 45 yards for a touchdown to seal the win.

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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