Michael Harris was tired. He was hurt. But play in and play out, the Auburn linebacker commit looked like the hungriest player on the football field last Saturday when his Tucker (Ga.) High School squad took the field for its season opener.
Harris went sideline-to-sideline to wreak havoc on the Kell offense. He dealt with getting the wind knocked out of him. He had a laceration on his forearm. None of that prevented him from disrupting ball carriers and deflecting passes to help his team snag a come-from-behind win.
That’s what Auburn fans should come to expect from Harris.
“It feels great. I was gone. I was a little bit exhausted, or just tired. Being on that field felt great. I loved being back on it,” Harris told SEC Country. “I feel like I’m physical and fast. I like being a leader on the field.”
That’s probably a common answer, but growing up, Harris typically watched one linebacker specifically: Ray Lewis. Harris said he created his own style of play, but Lewis’ work ethic is something he’s always leaned on for inspiration.
“That man is cold. That man is the deal,” Harris said. “I always got my own little swag, but I try to model my work ethic after his. The way he works, I try to work the same.”
That will be music to Travis Williams’ ears.
The Auburn linebackers coach is a major reason why Harris chose the Tigers. Harris sees similarities — on and off the field — between himself and his future position coach. Those comparisons will grow as Auburn fans are able to witness the intensity with which Harris plays the game.
Harris hopes to live up to the energy Williams brings.
“His energy. He likes to get things going. He’s always hype. He’s never low,” Harris said. “You always hear his voice, I’ll put it like that. Every time you’re near him, he gets you motivated. I really like that.”