On defenses consisting of top-tier athletes like Johnathan Allen, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster, it can be tough to stand out, especially as a young guy. However, since stepping in as a role player during his true freshman season, Ronnie Harrison has done just that by consistently making plays. Sure, at times he can get a little too hot-tempered, but he is by far one of the nation’s best safeties.
The 6’3″ junior from Tallahassee, Florida, is one of the hardest hitting strong safeties in college football. He leads the Tide’s defense in total tackles thus far with 31, second on the team in sacks with two, and fourth on the team in tackles for loss with three through six games. Aside from his impressive tackling ability, his ball skills, too, leave little to be desired. He has picked off two passes so far this season and deflected another.
His career as a whole places him among some of Alabama’s best in the Nick Saban era. Through two and a half years, Harrison has posted 131 stops, 5.5 tackles for loss, a trio of sacks, six interceptions, 14 deflections, and a pick six.
His instincts, both tackling and ball-in-air, make him a surefire first round pick. He has long been an unsung hero on the loaded Alabama defense, playing next to a potential top-5 pick in Minkah Fitzpatrick and behind incredible defensive fronts. But the tape he has put out there for the NFL to evaluate will be too hard to miss for talent scouts, and the impact he has played thus far this year will not go unnoticed.
The question is not so much if, but when he will be drafted. Should he go this year, he could see his stock slip out of the first round due to the strength of this year’s secondary class. With big names like Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Marcus Allen, Armani Watts, and Tarvarus McFadden sitting atop the defensive back draft board, Harrison may need a late season surge to prove his worth and earn a top spot in the pecking order.
Should he leave next year, with four full seasons under his belt, he would undoubtedly be considered a top-10 prospect. Regardless, Harrison’s skill set will allow his stock to continue rising, so much so that he may even surge up team’s boards before this season is over.