Shane Ray. Markus Golden. Michael Sam.
Over the past couple of years, few colleges have had as many elite pass rushers as Missouri. It’s crystal clear that their coaches thrive at discovering talented defensive ends and developing them into playmakers. Their latest star pupil, Charles Harris, has continued the tradition of excellence and is now ready to shine at the next level.
As he started to prep for Indy and the pros, Charles reached out to the great Mizzou pass rushers before him for advice. “They just told me to take it one day at a time and to be patient,” he said. “There are a lot of things going on at once and you can’t let that irritate you. You just need to stay humble and understand that every player goes through it.”
Charles certainly left his own mark as a Tiger, notching over 30 tackles for loss and 16 sacks during his last two seasons. At 6’3”, 255 pounds, he has the ideal size and weight ratio needed to be a threat against the run and the pass. The 21-year-old can beat you with speed, power, and smarts. He credits his signature move to his time spent in a different sport.
“My favorite pass rush style is the spin move,” Charles said. “And I definitely got the footwork and quickness for it from basketball.”
That agility could be useful to all 32 pro teams, no matter what scheme or style they play. “The first position I learned was 4-3 defensive end,” he explained. “I played on the left and right side of that scheme, so naturally it’s considered my best fit. But during this past year, I’ve dropped into coverage a lot more and played in a two-point stance, so it doesn’t matter. Whatever a team needs, I’m willing to provide.”
But let’s make one thing clear, the team that drafts Charles is getting more than just the perfect on-the-field fit, they’re getting the full package.
“If I could talk right now to the fans of my future team, I’d tell them ‘They’re not just getting a football player, they’re getting a leader,’” he said. “I’m willing to set up shop, do those small events for charity, and whatever else it takes to be a part of the community. I understand the value of my position and will appreciate it every day.”