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Kwame Harris
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-03-15) March 15, 1982 (age 37)
Place of birth: Jamaica
High School: Newark (DE)
Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Weight: 320 lb (145 kg)
Career information
College: Stanford
NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 1 / Pick: 26
Debuted in 2003 for the San Francisco 49ers
Last played in 2008 for the Oakland Raiders
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2008
Games played     86
Games started     55
Fumble recoveries     4
Stats at NFL.com

Kwame Harris (born on March 15, 1982) is a retired American football offensive tackle who played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played college football for the Stanford Cardinal, when he won the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-10 Conference in 2002.

Harris played high school football in Delaware, and was among the top prep offensive lineman in the country. He played three years at Stanford, twice earning all-conference honors and also being named honorable mention All-American in his final season. Harris was among the top-rated offensive lineman available in the 2003 draft, and he played five seasons with the 49ers and one with Oakland Raiders. He was a starter for most of his career, but often struggled with blocking and committing penalties.

Early yearsEdit

Harris was born in Jamaica and came to the United States when he was three years old. His family first settled in the the Bronx in New York before moving to Delaware, where Harris' father operated multiple successful restaurants. Harris started playing the piano at age five and started playing the violin in seventh grade.[1] He grew up in Newark, Delaware, and attended Newark High School. He played violin in his high school orchestra along with playing high school football. He was a unanimous All-American selection and generally considered one of the top prep offensive lineman in the nation.[2]

College careerEdit

Harris enrolled at Stanford University, where he was a music major. He played three years for the Cardinal, and he was a two-year starter at right tackle. Harris played seven games at left tackle in his freshman year, when he was the team's top reserve offensive lineman. He became one of the top lineman in the Pac-10 Conference, earning Second-Team All-Pac-10 honors in his sophomore year after starting 12 games at right tackle. In his final season in 2002, Harris started 11 games, and he was named First-Team All-Pac-10 and won the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the conference. He was also an honorable mention All-American and an honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10. Harris gave up his final year of eligibility at Stanford to enter the NFL.[2][3]

Professional careerEdit

Harris was ranked the No. 2 offensive tackle available in the 2003 NFL Draft, behind only Jordan Gross.[4] He was selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft with the 26th overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, and he played five seasons with the team.[5] He started 37 consecutive games from 2004–2007, beginning with the final five games of 2004 at left tackle, followed by 32 games at right tackle the two years after.[6] Harris was a good run blocker, but he was inconsistent on pass protection, struggling to block defensive linemen while frequently committing penalties.[7][5] He allowed nine sacks and committed 15 penalties including seven false starts in 2005, and eight sacks with four holding penalties and one false start the following year.[7] The 49ers drafted Joe Staley in the first round in 2007, and he won the starting job at right tackle as Harris was relegated to a backup role in his final year.[6][8]

In 2008, Harris signed a three-year contract for $16 million with the Oakland Raiders, who hoped that line coach Tom Cable could revive his career.[8] He started 11 games that year.[5] Late in the season, however, he again struggled with his blocking and penalties, and the Raiders released him after the season.[9]

He retired after being cut in 2010 by the Florida Tuskers in the United Football League, and he was replaced by former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard Darnell Stapleton. He played six seasons in his NFL career, starting 55 times in 86 games. Profootballtalk.com called Harris "a major disappointment in the pros."[5]

After footballEdit

Harris returned to college after retiring from football in order to complete his undergraduate degree.[10]

On January 28, 2013, at San Mateo County Superior Court, Harris pleaded not guilty to charges that he assaulted his ex-boyfriend, Dimitri Geier, on August 21, 2012. He was charged with felony counts of domestic violence causing great bodily injury and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Geier also sued Harris for assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. According to the suit, Harris became upset and the two men argued after Geier poured soy sauce on a plate of rice at a restaurant in Menlo Park, California. The situation escalated as the two exchanged blows.[11] His attorney, Alin Cintean, said Geier assaulted Harris first. "Unfortunately, Mr. Geier is the one who ended up with an injury," he said.[10]

After the incident became public, Cintean stated that Harris identifies as gay, remarking that "he is a very private person. He doesn't like to talk about his personal life." [10] No NFL player had come out as gay while they were playing, and only a few had after retiring.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Harris' younger brother, Orien, also played in the NFL as a defensive tackle.[12] Their older bother, Duevorn, was a defensive tackle in the Arena Football League.[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Reeves, Glenn (April 22, 2003). "Harris versed in classics Stanford lineman can play a violin or mash a defender with equal ability". Oakland Tribune. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-6956036.html. Retrieved January 29, 2013.(subscription required)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Player Bio: Kwame Harris". gostanford.com. http://www.gostanford.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/harris_kwame00.html. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  3. Wilner, Jon (2003-10-30). "Mercury News | 01/15/2003 | Harris' hard goodbye". Web.archive.org. http://web.archive.org/web/20031030145614/http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/4950960.htm. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  4. "SI.com - 2003 NFL Draft - Breakdown by Position - OT". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2003/draft/breakdowns/by_position/ot.html. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Smith, Michael David (July 15, 2010). "Former first-rounder Kwame Harris apparently retiring". profootballtalk.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/07/15/former-first-rounder-kwame-harris-apparently-retiring/.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Rookie RT Staley earns starting job over veteran Harris". USA Today. Associated Press. August 28, 2007. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/niners/2007-08-28-staley-starter_N.htm.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "49ers OT Harris works hard to keep job". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 3, 2007. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=2960788.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Raiders sign WR Javon Walker, OT Kwame Harris". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 5, 2008. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=3278618. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  9. Raiders "Raiders cut Harris, Griffith". USA Today. Associated Press. February 23, 2009. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2009-02-24-milloy-harris-griffith_N.htm Raiders. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Domestic charges for Kwame Harris". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 29, 2013. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6E2pX5FCH.
  11. Durand, Michelle (January 28, 2013). "Former 49er charged with attacking ex-boyfriend". San Mateo Daily Journal. http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=1762218&title=Former+49er+charged+with+attacking+ex-boyfriend#.UQbLkdk8fjg.email. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  12. Nelson, Kathleen (May 8, 2009). "Rams add depth on defensive line Orien Harris comes from Cincinnati for running back Brian Leonard". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. http://www.stltoday.com/sports/article_99f78e77-09af-5a2a-8516-9d68cf0e3564.html.

External linksEdit

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