Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines the dynamic movement of Unviersity of Miami RB Cam’Ron Harris — an intriguing prospect who could elevate his game if he learns to harness what is currently a raw skill.
Cam’Ron Harris has the size, versatility, and change-of-direction skills to become an NFL starter. It’s easy to imagine Harris earning buzz within the next 3-6 months as an intruiging running back prospect, especially if his athletic metrics are strong.
Budding film watchers will note his movement. Many of them will become infatuated.
Harris is a jump-cutting, stop-start demon of a back with a lot of dynamic moves. However, if you pay close attention to the type of movement that’s effective for running backs in the NFL, you’ll come to realization that Harris’ dynamic movement is raw material.
Kenyan Drake learned this the hard way during his first two years in the league. While he’s obviously a financially-successful NFL player — earning $11 million guaranteed from the Las Vegas Raiders is a massive accomplishment — he’s a well-paid role player with big-play potential.
Although he has improved his all-around game, he is still not a high-level NFL starter with refined skills between the tackles. While any young football player would be thrilled to be earning a guaranteed $11 million with the minimal workload that Drake is earning in Las Vegas, the best shot of getting that kind of money is becoming the most refined player one can be.
An aspiring running back should want to learn on the collective ignorance of NFL personnel managers. Many of them drool over athletic metrics only to figure out that the athlete isn’t worth a second contract. Because they don’t address their root issues with evaluation, they fall in love with another younger, cheaper prospect with the same limitations and this becomes a wash, rinse, and repeat process.
Harris could become an excellent NFL runner and not just a well-paid athlete. Considering he’s already well into his junior season, I hope he spends another year in Miami.
He should look for someone to coach him on running back footwork. At the very least, he studies a library of tape. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt make cuts from a balanced base that Harris should watch.
Hell, I bet UM has a terrific game library of tape of Frank Gore, Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Lamar Miller, and Willis McGahee. Any of these backs would help him become a refined mover over the next 8-12 months.
If Harris figures out how to operate from a balanced base and move in a fundamentally-sound manner, we might look back on an NFL career where he deserves having his name mentioned in the esteemed company above. Right now? He’s potentially an NFL athlete who will excite evaluators who don’t understand nuances the position and hope Harris will magically figure it.
Dynamic but unrefined, it’s up to Harris to do the work on his own to exploit his natural talents.
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