Background and college
Born January 21, 1984 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Harris prepped at Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids and played college football for the Michigan Wolverines Enrolling at Michigan in 2002, Harris spent the season on the scout team as an inside linebacker. He appeared in two games in 2003. Harris played in seven games, starting vs. Iowa at inside linebacker in 2004. He missed five games after he re-injured his knee in the Iowa clash, registering 10 solo tackles with a forced fumble. He returned to start the final 11 games at weak-side inside linebacker,winning the Roger Zatkoff Award winner as Michigan's top linebacker. He led the team with 88 tackles (52 solos) as a junior in 2005. He had one sack, six stops for losses and three pass deflections. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one. Harris shifted to the more traditional middle linebacker position in 2006, earning second-team All- American honors. He again led the team with 96 tackles (73 solos), coming up with three sacks, 14 stops behind the line of scrimmage and his first career interception. In 33 games at Michigan, Harris started in 25 of them. He closed out his career with 196 tackles (136 solos), four sacks for minus 29 yards and 20 stops for losses of 68 yards. He caused three fumbles and recovered one. He gained 8 yards on an interception return and also deflected four passes.