Nate Harris finally making impact on defense

Many expected JUCO All-American Nate Harris to step in and make an immediate impact. And though it's taken the Miami native a little longer than some thought, the 6-2, 232-pounder is finally starting to make his presence felt for the Louisville defense.

Though many expected Nate Harris, a former high school and junior college All-American, to make a quick impact for the Louisville defense this season, its taken some time for the 6-2, 232-pounder to adjust to major college football.

Harris, who arrived at U of L this summer after making 86 tackles last season at Garden State C.C. in Kansas, made his second career start in the Cardinals 61-10 win over Florida Atlantic Saturday afternoon. After making a team-leading 10 tackles the previous week against South Florida, Harris again made the most of his opportunity against the Owls.

Having stepped in as the starter against USF after Lamar Myles' injury, Harris made six tackles (one for loss), forced a fumble and recorded a sack against FAU. The Miami, Fl. native said it felt great to finally make his first start in front of a full house at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

"It felt great," Harris said. "The atmosphere was great and it felt really good."

While it took Harris a few games to crack the starting lineup, he's still fourth on the team with 19 tackles – 11 solo. Harris admitted that the adjustment from junior college to NCAA Division I has been challenging, especially trying to learn defensive coordinator Mike Cassity complex schemes.

"The first thing is the size of the playbook," Harris explained. "Coming straight out of junior college to a division one program the pace of the practices are faster and everything has to be on point. If one person does the wrong thing then that's a busted play."

Harris, who said he could rely on his speed and athleticism to make plays in high school and junior college, also said he's had to learn to become a more physical player.

"In high school I just had to use my athleticism but right now I've got to be more physical because everybody is good out there," said Harris. "That was a big adjustment for me."

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