The Los Angeles Rams witnessed a 2021 fourth rounder from Central Florida steal the show during the OTA sessions, working his way into the first team offense and winning over head coach Sean McVay with his athleticism.
Now, Jacob Harris wants to be known more than just a May/June star for the Rams. The 141st overall pick out of UCF told Rams team reporter Sarina Morales in a June 14 video that the Rams’ culture is why he wants to have a long career with them.
“First thing I noticed the first week I was here was the culture. It’s contagious from all areas of the staff and players. Week one, I told myself I want to be able stay here as long as possible,” Harris told Morales.
McVay Likes His Upside
With starting tight end Tyler Higbee out of action, the 6-foot-5, 211-pound Harris had the opportunity to show the Rams his four-way combination of height, speed, versatility and athletic skills.
Carrying 211-pounds as a tight end is grounds for being labeled “too thin” across the line. Yet, the Rams found ways to utilize Harris during seven-on-sevens and 11-on-11 drills. Ultimately, Harris went on to be in the same huddle of Matthew Stafford, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and the other starters.
The results from Harris include this viral social media video clip that shows his ability to adjust to an end zone throw from Matthew Stafford.
And an identical grab, but this one from backup John Wolford and with two defensive backs near the vicinity.
McVay described to reporters following the Rams’ June 10 open practice at SoFi Stadium that Harris comes with a skillset that few players his size possess.
“His natural range, catch radius, body control for a player his size is pretty rare. I think you guys can see, for NFL guys to stand out the way he’s done in some of these limited settings in shorts and helmets, he’s definitely made a positive impression. We all understand it’s about when you put the pads on and how that truly translates, but I think it’s because he’s earned it (the first team reps) and I’ve been very pleased with him. He’s smart, he’s conscientious and he’s done a great job improving throughout.”
Harris Aims to Get Lots of Playing Time
In the one-on-one with Morales, Harris shed light on his original plan to play his first love soccer. Harris was set on pursuing a collegiate soccer career at Florida Gulf Coast University but opted for the other football. That decision, which included a preferred walk-on attempt at Western Kentucky before walking on and then becoming a scholarship player at UCF, eventually turned him into a draft pick.
“I’d say it’s worked out pretty good. I haven’t missed soccer at all,” Harris told Morales. “I just fell in love with the game of football. To this day, I still feel like I made the right decision.”
Now the next big decision for Harris? Continuing to carry the momentum he’s established from OTA’s and turn that into a lengthy stay in L.A. He has his sights set on getting on all four special teams units and working his way into McVay’s offense.
“I see great potential for me to make special teams and add value to the special teams. Not only just the cover phases but as well as the return phase. I’m going to work my butt off to hopeful get a spot on all four teams. That’s the goal. I’ll (also) keep progressing and find my spot in the offense,” Harris said.