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Nicholas John Harris (born July 23, 1978) is a former American football punter. He played college football at the University of California, Berkeley, where he set the NCAA record for career punting yardage and earned All-American honors. The Denver Broncos chose him in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft, and he has played professionally for the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Carolina Panthers of the NFL.
|No. 8, 2, 5|
|Born:||July 23, 1978|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||Avondale (AZ) Westview|
|NFL Draft:||2001 / Round: 4 / Pick: 120|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012|
|Player stats at PFR|
Early life and educationEdit
Harris was born in Avondale, Arizona. He attended Westview High School in Avondale, where he played for the Westview Knights high school football team. He earned National Coaches' Association All-America honors as a senior with 42.3-yard punting average. He Also earned prep all-state honors as a linebacker and saw action on offense as a receiver and a rusher. He was also an All-state prep soccer player as well.
Harris attended the University of California, where he played for the California Golden Bears football team from 1997 to 2000. He averaged 42.3 yards per punt, and his 13,621 total yards was an NCAA record. His 322 career punts is also an NCAA record. As a junior in 1999, he had a 44.7 yard average. As a senior in 2000, he was recognized as consensus first-team All-American.
Harris was drafted in the 4th round by the Denver Broncos, where he was later waived.
In 2001, the Bengals signed him off of waivers. He was released during the 2003 season.
The Lions signed Harris October 14, 2003 as a replacement for the injured John Jett and he established himself as the Lions punter for the remainder of the season. In 2005, he was named the Special Teams MVP by The Detroit Lions Quarterback Club, the official booster club of the Lions. On September 3, 2011, Harris was released by the Detroit Lions in favor for Ryan Donahue.
On October 11, 2011, he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. On April 28, 2012, the Jacksonville Jaguars released Harris.
Harris signed with the Carolina Panthers on May 7, 2012. He was released on August 27, 2012.
Second stint with the Detroit LionsEdit
Harris was signed by the Detroit Lions, for a second time, on September 25, 2012. The signing came after Ben Graham was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.
Harris is married to his college sweetheart, Heather. The couple have four children: a son, Drew; a daughter, Halle; and twin daughters Brooke and Kate. He also has a twin brother, Chris. Harris has been involved in several of the Lions' charity programs and events.