Position, years at Arizona: Linebacker, 1991-94
Honors, accomplishments at UA: Was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 player, in 1993 and 1994. … Earned first-team All-America honors by the Scripps Howard news service in 1993 and was a third-team Associated Press All-American that season. … Led team in tackles in 1992 and 1994.
Why he made our list: Sean Harris was the Desert Swarm’s do-it-all middle linebacker. He was physically imposing at 6 feet 3 inches and 240 pounds, so he could handle the violent collisions with offensive linemen, but he also was nimble enough to deftly shed blocks and be effective dropping into coverage.
“I marveled at his physical capabilities,” former UA coach Dick Tomey said.
“He was not someone who was a five-star prospect or a four-star prospect or any of those things. He was a little bit under the radar, but nobody had more physical capability than he did.”
Harris was lightly recruited out of Tucson High, but mostly because of some shaky academics, which he overcame, earning his degree in 1995. He redshirted in 1990 before becoming a staple of UA’s great defenses of the era.
He had 320 career tackles, with 321/2 for a loss and 141/2 sacks. Harris also intercepted five passes and broke up 17. He ranks sixth on UA’s career list with 248 unassisted tackles.
Life after college: Harris was a third-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, going No. 83 overall in 1995, one spot after his teammate, kicker Steve McLaughlin. Harris was a backup for three seasons, starting only the final game of the 1997 season, before moving up to first-string. Harris started 37 games for the Bears from 1998 to 2000, playing all three linebacker spots and making 195 tackles in that span.
Harris surprisingly announced his retirement in July 2001 at age 29, reconsidered a few days later but was waived. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts, appearing in one game that season to wrap up his pro career.
In partnership with the Arizona Republic, we are counting down the top 50 football players in Arizona Wildcats history. Leave your top 10 at AG’s Wildcat Report on Facebook, and check out azcentral.com for the countdown of ASU’s Top 50 football players.
No. 50 — LaMonte Hunley
No. 49 — Hubie Oliver
No. 48 — Rob Gronkowski
No. 47 — Jim Donarski
No. 46 — Ontiwaun Carter
No. 45 — Steve McLaughlin
No. 44 — John Fina
No. 43 — Glenn Parker
No. 42 — Bobby Lee Thompson
No. 41 — Marcus Bell
No. 40 — Fred W. Enke
No. 39 — Ka’Deem Carey
No. 38 — Juron Criner
No. 37 — Dana Wells
No. 36 — Tom Tunnicliffe
No. 35 — Bruce Hill
No. 34 — Chuck Osborne
No. 33 — Brandon Sanders