LARAMIE -- What drives DeVonne Harris?

The extended pause and audible pondering that followed that inquiry speaks volumes.

"That's a great question," Wyoming's longest-tenured defensive end responded, rubbing his right cheek. "I don't really know."

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After a pair of quick glances at his cell phone to check in on his beloved Minnesota Wild, the answer eventually came. It was unique, just like the man himself. Though odd on the surface, the reply makes perfect sense.

"When I was young, I was late to a lot of things," Harris admitted. "So, practice, I'd be late to it. School, I'd be late to it. I was diagnosed with ADHA (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in like fourth grade. That's why I was always late. If I didn't take my pills I was off schedule. I got off them in seventh grade and just started listening to music. That's what calmed me down.

"Not being late is what really got me going because, if I'm late, I'm letting other people down. I'm letting myself down."



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In other words, accountability and commitment keeps the Big Lake, Minn., product on his toes.

Harris has been described as eccentric, quirky. Former head coach Craig Bohl was always eager to break out his best scratchy vocal impression. He often joked about his clothing choices, too.

Today's attire features grey sweatpants tucked into white tube socks. His hat barely fits over his bushy hair. The ever-present headphones help with that. He's wearing black Crocs and his famous eyewear. His teammates refer to Harris as "Speed Goggles" and every instance his name is mentioned an immediate smile and slight head shake follows.

At last December's Arizona Bowl, the team sported brown-and-gold pajama pants at its final practice in Tucson. It gave off the illusion of a relaxed atmosphere as Bohl's career was coming to an end.

It was also an ode to Harris.

DJ Johnson photo
DJ Johnson photo

Underneath that zany persona, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior has quietly been one of Wyoming's most effective pass rushers since arriving on campus all the way back in 2019. Over the last two seasons, Harris has a dozen sacks to his credit, including a team-leading eight during his sophomore campaign. He also finished with a career-best 56 tackles. Thirteen of those came behind the line of scrimmage.

Harris capped last season with just 35 stops to go along with four quarterback takedowns.

Why the drop off?

An MCL injury in a Week-3 meeting at Texas certainly didn't help matters. Neither did the scheme the Cowboys deployed early in the season against some of the top passing offenses in the country.

"I was told I had 104 less pass-rush attempts," Harris quipped, adding the team rotated four ends and lined up in a three-man front to add another player to the secondary. "... We're in 2024 (Harris had to think about that one for a minute) and we're going to let the D-line rush more."

Harris' position coach said don't downplay that lingering left knee ailment.

"To think that he would even have played in that App State game speaks volumes about his toughness -- both physical and mental," Brian Hendricks said. "Those MCL's, they don't go away. So, he grinded through a good portion of the season."

Jay Sawvel said he's kept a close eye on Harris this spring. Why? He joked that guys who have been in the program for "21 years" could become complacent.

Not Harris.

"Will he kind of just go through the motions and take his reps and call it good? He's working to get better," Wyoming's rookie head coach said. "You see a lot of things from him and you're like, 'OK, this looks better than what it ever has.'

"So, I'm really pleased with his mindset, his attitude and where he's at right now."

He's not pleased with being stood up for a lunch date in early March, though.

Harris, who works at Jersey Mike's, a sub sandwich shop on East Grand Avenue, told his head coach he was on the clock. Sawvel showed up. Harris didn't.

"I go to get a sub and see the guy, and I'm like, 'Where are you at?' He was in the back," Sawvel laughed. "'OK, well tell me if you're going to be in the back and I won't come up here to spend money.' ... It was still a good sub."

Harris has a legitimate excuse.

"There were only three of us, so I had to put the truck away and then I had to wash dishes," he said with a grin. "It was my fault, but they were handling it up front."



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Harris is a peculiar person. That's all part of his charm. No one wants that to change anytime soon, either.

He drives an old, black Acura. The muffler is hanging on for dear life, choking louder as the gas pedal inches closer to the floor. He's brief when talking about his own accolades, which includes all-conference honors in 2022. You bring up his favorite sub -- hot or cold -- and Harris lights up, dishing out every last ingredient. He suggests the Chicken Philly or the Original Italian.

"The juice," by the way, is oil and red vinegar.

Someone give this guy an NIL deal.

"We can try," Harris said with a shrug.

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit:

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players