Editor’s Note: This feature on Ryan Harris was done last fall for the Blue & Gold Illustrated print publication. We are re-running it here after the news yesterday that Harris will be the new color analyst on Notre Dame’s football broadcasts on radio.
Seldom does an NFL player achieve a 10-year career. The average duration in the “Not For Long” league is 3.3 years, or less than a four-year college football stint.
Naturally, 2007 Notre Dame graduate Ryan Harris defied the odds again when he became the fourth Fighting Irish alumnus recruited in this century to achieve that 10-year milestone in 2016 before retiring. He joined the company of defensive end Justin Tuck, tight end Anthony Fasano, and most recently, classmate and center John Sullivan, who is still with the Los Angeles Rams.
Harris has quite the habit of accomplishing the rare.
A devout Muslim, Harris nevertheless selected the Catholic-based Notre Dame after a prominent high school career at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn.
Next, he achieved a unique feat of not only playing along the Fighting Irish offensive line as a freshman but starting the final eight games in 2003 at right tackle.
Furthermore, while everyone else up front was in the 300- to 320-pound range, the master technician Harris was only 270 — and never listed at more than 288 while starting each of the final 45 games in his career with the Irish.