Harris, along with senior-to-be Mario Harvey, anchors the middle of the Herd's defense at linebacker. With two weeks and seven practices (the Herd return to the field for practice today at 3 p.m.) remaining before the April 24 Green-White game at Edwards Stadium, Harris said the defense is almost up to speed with the new coaching staff's system.
"I think right now we are right where we need to be," he said. "As we are progressing there's always things we can build on. We haven't installed everything we are going to play yet."
Added safety Omar Brown: "It's spring, so everybody is getting back into this groove of football. The spring is all about teaching and learning again. As a defense we are coming along, but we aren't where we want to be. But that's what the spring is for."
But learning schemes doesn't prevent a little physical play and that showed Saturday.
Tavaris Thompson, for instance, leveled Marquel Ali on the afternoon's first punt return, which ultimately resulted in Ali having to be helped to the locker room by two people. Ali never had the opportunity to catch the spiraling pigskin before Thompson left his feet and nailed him.
When a reporter asked Holliday if Ali knew what state he was in after that hit, Holliday replied, "Probably not."
Defensive back Tyrone Carper also delivered a big hit on running back Terrell Edwards-Maye as the ball carrier sought refuge beyond the sidelines. Fellow defenders wanting to celebrate instantly swarmed Carper.
Safeties Omar Brown and Donald Brown teamed to make passes between the hashes a dangerous chore for intended receivers. Wide receiver Michael Rhynes dropped a pass from freshman quarterback A.J. Graham when he heard the footsteps of a charging defender.
"It was our first time getting physical out there, so it really felt good," Omar Brown said. "I was really looking forward to it because I love to hit.
"Knocking people around today - it was really fun."