Sun, 09 May 2021

Stu Jackson

Jacob Harris seemed destined to play soccer.

He had played the sport for many years growing up, traveling every weekend for tournaments and games across the state of Florida, as well as to Colorado and North Carolina. Then, during the summer before his senior year, his good friend Wyatt Wilson convinced him he should try out for the football team.

"I did it and just from there it took off," Harris said during a video conference with reporters after being drafted 141st overall. "I never looked back and I've got to say my heart was just fully invested in football from that point on. I was pretty much done with soccer at that point."

The pivotal decision laid the foundation for playing safety, quarterback, kick returner and other positions that senior season of high school ball before eventually settling on wide receiver as he embarked on a college football career. Collectively, it creates a diverse skillset that he's looking forward to using to help the Rams' offense and special teams.

Many of Harris' online draft evaluations list him as a wide receiver, but when selected he was given the designation of tight end. Regardless of position, though, this much was clear: At the University of Central Florida, he was an athletic, big-bodied target capable of making plays in the passing game.

"Who knows (what I'll play for the Rams)," Harris said. "I'm open to playing and being used wherever I'm needed and that's just kind of my mindset going into this - wherever I'm needed to play, whether that's receiver, tight end, I'm open to doing that and diving in."

He also has a similar flexibility toward his potential usage on special teams. During his time at Central Florida, the 6-foot-5, 219-pound Harris said he started on punt and kickoff coverage as well as the Knights' punt return and kickoff return blocking units. Rams general manager Les Snead said in his post-Day 3 video conference that Harris was the No. 1-ranked special teams player on their board in terms of coverage.

"So I've got experience in both of those areas and I feel like I'm ready to just utilize those at the next level," Harris said.

He also spoke with Rams special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis during the pre-draft process and is looking forward to the chance to contribute in that phase.

"That's one thing that I think I'm most excited about in the league, is getting the opportunity to get back out there on special teams, especially those cover teams," Harris said. "I really enjoy it and I'd go in there with a full heart."

Rams select OLB Chris Garrett with 252nd pick in 2021 NFL Draft Rams select WR Ben Skowronek with 249th pick in 2021 NFL Draft Rams select RB Jake Funk with 233rd pick 2021 NFL Draft Highlights: TE Jacob Harris | Pick 141 overall  Jacob Harris gets the call from Les Snead and Sean McVay Raheem Morris announces Rams selection of UCF TE Jacob Harris with No. 141 pick of 2021 draft

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