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Johnnie Harris

Defensive Specialist

Johnnie Harris
Photo by Chris Arnold
AFL Experience: 3rd season
Height: 6-2
Weight: 200
Date of Birth: 8/21/72
College: Mississippi State


1996: Ballhawking cornerback was activated from the exempt list on June 12 and started ten days later at Memphis (6/22)...In that game---his first in the AFL---he recorded four tackles, one interception (returned for three yards), broke up one pass and recovered a fumble...Tied the previous Storm record with six interceptions in a season; amazingly, he accomplished this feat in just seven games...Probably his best regular season performance came at Orlando (7/19)... Assigned to cover five-time Ironman of the Year Barry Wagner, Harris held the all-time great to just three catches for 29 yards...Harris, meanwhile, recorded six tackles, assisted on another, broke up three passes and recorded one interception...In playoff win over Anaheim (8/9), returned an interception 22 yards for a score...Later in the fourth quarter, he recovered a fumble and scampered 23 yards for a touchdown...His heroics turned the game from a 17-16 nailbiter into a comfortable 30-16 win.

1997: Although his season was shortened to five games because of his return to the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, he ended the season fifth on the team in tackles with 29 and second in passes defensed with seven...Was suspended by the league before the opening game at Arizona (5/3), but had his suspension revoked by the league office just before the game...Responded with five unassisted tackles and two passes defensed in the 42-30 win...Recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass and broke up two other passes one week later against Florida (5/10)...Led the team with four unassisted tackles at Nashville (5/23)... Made eight tackles against Milwaukee (5/29) before getting ejected for fighting with one minute left in the first half; it was the last time he wore a Storm uniform in 1997 as he soon left for Canada.

1998: Won the league's Defensive Player of the Year award...Named to the All-AFL First Team...His performance in 1998 was good enough to get noticed by the NFL; he was signed by the Oakland Raiders, coached by Jon Gruden, brother of former teammate Jay Gruden, in February of 1999...He is expected to contend for significant playing time in the Raider secondary...Set the league's single-season record for passes defensed with 33, breaking the league record of 26 set by Orlando's Chris Barber in 1997...Tied for the league lead in interceptions with 11, just one off the single-season mark set by teammate Tracey Perkins; he had an AFL-record 12 in 1997...Accomplished these feats in spite of missing one game due to suspension... Began the season by making three tackles, three assists, and finishing second on the Storm in passes defensed with three at San Jose (5/1)...Paced the Storm with four tackles and six assists and broke up a team-high four passes against Nashville (5/9)...Posted his first interception of the season against Houston (5/16), returning it 19 yards in the second quarter to set up a Storm touchdown...Led the team with four passes defensed and added a tackle and three assists...Led the Storm with four unassisted tackles and added an assist at Florida (5/23)...Led the Storm with four unassisted tackles and seven total tackles at New Jersey (5/30)...Forced Red Dog Adrian Lunsford to fumble on a third quarter kickoff return; Alvoid Mays scooped up the ball for the score and a 57-21 lead... Intercepted a Rickey Foggie pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 17 yards to set up a score...Turned in an MVP-caliber performance against New York (6/6), intercepting two passes, posting six total tackles, including four unassisted, and breaking up a a pass...His first interception came in the first quarter after a Steve Houghton blitz; it led to a touchdown...His second pick came off QB Mike Perez on the last play of the third quarter; he took it 45 yards for a score...For good measure, in the fourth quarter, he forced a WR/DB Charlie Davidson fumble which Lawrence Samuels recovered; three plays later, the Storm scored its eighth touchdown of the game...One week later, at Orlando (6/12), he saved the game for the Storm by intercepting a Pat O'Hara pass on the last play of the game, ensuring a 42-34 win...Also intercepted two other O'Hara passes, one in the first quarter and the other early in the fourth quarter, to push his team-leading interception total to seven...Made three tackles and broke up a pass...Helped hold Barry Wagner to just two receptions...At home against Albany (6/20), helped the Storm with five unassisted tackles and seven total stops...Also added to his league-record pace in passes defensed with a season-high five, representing 50 percent of the Storm's total for the game...When Orlando returned to the Ice Palace (6/27), he was again given the duty of shutting down Barry Wagner, and succeeded, holding the six-time Ironman of the Year to just two catches for 24 yards...Led the Storm in total tackles with six and in assists with five...Broke up one pass...Broke up two passes at Houston (7/2)...After two games without interceptions, he came alive with two, including one on the ThunderBears' last possession of the game...Led the Storm in passes defensed and overall tackles (six unassisted)...Against Florida (7/12), he broke Chris Barber's single-season league record, breaking up a pass from Fred McNair to Bernard Edwards midway through the first quarter to set the mark...Added another break-up in the second quarter...Ultimately, though, his afternoon was to be remembered for his ejection after a third- quarter Storm kickoff, when he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after unintentionally pushing an official...Was suspended for the Week Twelve game at Nashville...Against Iowa (7/25), he returned to action with a flourish, leading the Storm in unassisted tackles (six), total tackles (eight) and tying for the lead in passes defensed (two)...Turned in another outstanding performance at Grand Rapids (8/1) to close the season...Posted two first-half interceptions to raise his season total to 11...His picks were especially crucial, as they both came in the Storm's end zone to thwart Rampage scoring chances...Led the game with six unassisted tackles and seven total stops...Broke up three passes to bolster his league-record season total to 33...In the postseason, he led the team with 21 total tackles, including 15 solo stops, and seven passes defensed...Posted six solo tackles and one assist against San Jose (8/8)...Picked off two passes, returning one for a for a touchdown, and made five solo tackles in the semifinal win over New Jersey (8/14)...His score, on a 14-yard return with less than three minutes left in the second quarter, gave the Storm a 21-13 advantage...Intercepted a second-quarter Pat O'Hara pass in ArenaBowl XII... Also broke up three passes.

AFL Statistics


Year  Team        TKL   AST   SKS   YDS FF-FR   INT   YDS  TD
1996  Tampa Bay    38     5     0     0   0-2     6    56   0
1997  Tampa Bay    24     5     0     0   0-0     1     0   0
1998  Tampa Bay    48    30     0     0   3-0    11   121   1
CAREER TOTALS     110    40     0     0   3-2    18   177   1

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