By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ryan Harris went to Cretin-Derham Hall High School and blossomed into quite a football player.

He proved himself at Notre Dame and is now proving to be a big-time tackle for the Denver Broncos in the NFL. It’s quite a journey for an articulate young man who could get political when his career ends.

Harris’s former college coach, Brian Kelley, recently spoke about Harris among several other topics after a luncheon in downtown Minneapolis. It was for Notre Dame alumni, and it was a chance for him to do some local recruiting.

“At Notre Dame you better be in those states that have turned out players and of course there’s a couple of schools here in particular that have turned out players that have graduated from Notre Dame, so we’ve got to be back in those schools,” Kelley said.

One local alum fits that bill: Ryan Harris of Cretin-Derham Hall.

“It’s good that Notre Dame comes to Minnesota a couple times,” Harris said. “I always have a good time seeing the Notre Dame family and also coming home and being part of the family here in Minnesota.”

He was good enough playing for the Irish that he was selected in the NFL Draft. He’s now become a key building block for the Denver Broncos. He’s now living his professional life at the highest level.

“It’s a dream,” Harris said. “Life in the NFL is a dream. Just to be able to play the game you love and do something you love every day is just phenomenal. And to work year-round on it and have your family become involved, and to see a lot of the people you’ve seen along the way and come back, it’s just a dream come true.”

He trained this offseason using yoga as a type of conditioning. Not your everyday method, but it worked for him.

“Yoga does a lot, man. Between strengthening the joints, and the big thing for linemen is balance,” Harris said. “Especially in the heat, you’ve got another added deterrent from keeping your focus.”

And he’s dabbled in politics as he prepares for life after football. It’s a career that’s on hold, at least for now.

“I’m just trying to play football. I just want to play football,” said Harris. “I worked for the Dayton campaign when he was running for Senate and also worked on his staff as a Senator so I know a little about politics. But I’m excited to make St. Paul my home after I’m done playing and we’ll go from there.”

  1. Keith says:

    Brian Kelly never coached Ryan Harris at Notre Dame. Kelly’s first season coaching the Irish was 2010–Harris was drafted in 2007. He was coached at ND by Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis.

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