January 15, 2021

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Diamond in the Rough: Lanard Harris

Lanard Harris is a class of 2021 defensive back out of Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge, LA. Harris stands 5’11 185 lbs with a bench press of 290, a squat of 385, and a 40 yard dash time of 4.49. Along with DB, Harris is an exceptional receiver, posing as a go-to deep threat anytime he steps onto the field. On special teams, Lanard should be avoided at all costs for opposing kickoff teams. Harris has a dangerous return ability with little problems finding correct lanes and can take it to the house once in open space. A special defensive back all in all, Harris can just as easily pick off quarterbacks as he can lower his shoulder to provide monstrous hits on opposing ball carriers. Harris has an uncanny nose for the football and is an overall ball-hawking defender.

At what age did you begin playing football and what initially interested you about the sport? 

I started playing football at the age of 5 years old. What initially interested me about football was watching family play and seeing stars in the NFL play. It looked fun and I wanted to try it. 

What did football teach you about yourself or life once you began playing? 

What football taught me about myself is that I’m a hard worker, and there may be hard times but to never give up. Once I saw the talent and the ability to do the things I could do, it showed me that football was my way out and there to make my dreams come true. 

Who or what has been your biggest motivation or role model in the sport? 

My biggest motivation is Ray Lewis and my role model is Jamal Adams. 

Do you have a favorite memory from your playing career? 

My second to last game against Catholic High. I scored 4 touchdowns but they called 2 back. Also, in my last game against McKinley High School, I took the football out of the running back’s hands from the 25 yard line and scored a 75 yard touchdown.    

Are you involved in any other sports or activities at school besides football? If so, how do you believe those experiences have helped you on the football field? 

Yes, I am involved in Track and Field. These experiences have helped me with my speed and the ability to perform better on the field. 

As a defensive back, what is it like being in a leadership position? What is the most rewarding aspect and what is the most challenging? 

Being in the defensive back leadership position, it has always pushed me to do better because I know there’s always somebody on the team looking up to me. So, I must set an example in the classroom most importantly, on the field, and off the field! 

Do you have a favorite athlete, college or NFL, that you look up to? 

My favorite athlete is Xavier Mckinney from Alabama State University. A college that I look up to is LSU because it is a great school educationally, have an amazing coaching staff, and great players. Also, they are the 2020 National Champions 

What current player, college or NFL, do you believe your playstyle reflects most? 

Xavier Mckinney because we both play Safety; we are both aggressive and quick. 

Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies or passions you pursue in your free time? What about them do you enjoy most?  

Some of hobbies are playing video games, going out with friends, and doing extra work to help me get better in school. 

For the 2020 season, what are some personal goals that you look forward to accomplishing? Has your team set a specific set of goals for the upcoming season as well? 

Some personal goals I have is to make all-state, become the number 1 player in LA, and sign to a D-1 college for football. Yes, my team has set some high goals for the season that we plan to achieve them. 

What do you believe separates you from other high school lineman in the state of Louisiana?  

What makes me different from other DB’s is my speed, my aggressiveness and the way I play. 

What makes you unique to your position?  

What makes me unique is my speed, my fast reactions, my weight and, strength. 

What advice would you give to younger football players who hope to one day play high school football? 

Some advice I would give is always put school first and sports second, always work hard and never give up. Also, to always stay focused. 

Tell me a bit about the challenges of a school that has recently moved up to 5A football. 

Some challenges Woodlawn High has faced since we have moved up is better and bigger teams, along with more competition. 

What are some of the biggest impacts that first year head coach, Marcus Randall, has brought to the program? 

What Coach has brought is a better coaching staff, more players and, created a better team. Basically, he just turned the whole program around and made it better. 

With the new Coronavirus epidemic sweeping our country, a lot of teams nationwide have not been allowed to practice during the spring. How have you guys addressed this and hope to overcome it? 

We addressed this by doing what we can do individually until all this is over. 

Finally, what do you believe to be the most rewarding part about playing the sport and being a part of a team? 

The most rewarding part is traveling, playing against the best of the best, winning games, and seeing the team come together as a family.