Six-Year Journey Sends Tim Harris To 49ers As NFL Draft Pick

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The journey for Virginia cornerback Tim Harris took many twists and turns, but Saturday he joined the professional ranks as an NFL Draft pick. The San Francisco 49ers selected Harris in the sixth round with the 198th overall pick.

For Harris, that moment was six years in the making. He joined the Cavaliers in 2013 out of Varina High School in Richmond. That fall he started 7 games as a true freshman and he continued as a key piece of the secondary for the next two years with 14 more starts as as sophomore and junior.

That’s when things got tricky for Harris. The coaching staff that recruited him was replaced by Bronco Mendenhall and company ahead of the 2016 season, which forced Harris to re-establish himself in the secondary. He stuck in the rotation only to see his season end in the second game due to injury. Since he had not redshirted previously, he was granted a medical hardship waiver to retain the year of eligibility. In 2017’s season opener, however, he left the game with a wrist injury that again ended his season at the beginning. Fortunately for Harris, he received another hardship waiver that allowed him one final season with UVA.

Harris made the most of it. He started 8 games last fall as the Hoos returned to a bowl game in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2004 and 2005 before winning the Belk Bowl against South Carolina. Harris grabbed an interception in the 28-0 shutout to provide the perfect culmination of his long journey in orange and blue. He ended up playing in 47 games with 119 tackles, 22 passes defended, 4 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery.

That was enough after seeing Harris in workouts for the 49ers to bring him to their franchise.

Harris joined fellow Cavalier defensive back Juan Thornhill as an NFL Draft pick this year. Thornhill went to the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round with the 63rd overall pick. Virginia has now had multiple players picked in the same draft in back-to-back years and for the fourth time in six years. A UVA player has been selected in the NFL Draft in 35 out of the last 36 years.

Other members from last season’s squad signed undrafted free agent deals. Chris Peace (Chargers), Olamide Zaccheaus (Falcons), Marcus Applefield (Ravens), and Jordan Ellis (Bengals) found spots over the weekend. Also, Evan Butts received a mini-camp invite from the Cardinals.

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