New Oxford High School graduate Erik Harris reportedly finds new NFL home

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
Las Vegas Raiders free safety Erik Harris (25) plays against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

New Oxford High School graduate Erik Harris has reportedly found a new home on his unlikely pro football journey.

Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com has reported that Atlanta is signing the 6-foot, 2-inch, 220-pound safety, who had been an NFL free agent. Harris' one-year agreement with Atlanta has also been reported by other sources, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Harris has played for the Raiders, first in Oakland and now in Las Vegas, for the last four seasons, starting 30 games over that span, including 26 starts the past two seasons. He registered five interceptions, 20 passes defensed and a forced fumble for the Raiders. He also had 189 tackles for the Raiders, including 148 solo hits and four tackles for loss. Harris was a team captain for the Las Vegas this past season.

New Oxford grad Erik Harris living out his NFL dream with the Oakland Raiders

Harris, who turns 31 in April, also played four games for New Orleans in 2016.

Terry Fontenot, Atlanta’s new general manager, was the director of pro scouting with the Saints when Harris was in New Orleans.

Harris joins Jaylinn Hawkins, a fourth-round draft selection in 2020, as the only safeties on the current Atlanta roster.

Las Vegas Raiders free safety Erik Harris (25) wears a Salute to Service head band while stretching before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, November 8, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

After leaving New Oxford, Harris walked on at the California University of Pennsylvania, an NCAA Division II program in the western part of the state. He went on to a standout career with the Vulcans, but was not selected in the 2012 NFL draft.

After college, he worked a couple of factory jobs for Utz and UPS, but eventually did land a spot with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before eventually hooking on with the Saints and then the Raiders.

In March of 2019, Harris signed a two-year extension to stay with the Raiders. According to Spotrac, Harris earned $5.75 million over the past two seasons. Spotrac is an online sports team and player contract resource on the internet. 

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.