Thanks, Aaron - you do outstanding work.
You are, imho, the best middle linebacker we've had at Texas during the Mack Brown era. It was good to see you receive the first-team all Big-12 and third-team All-America honors you earned on the playing field with the Horns this past season.
It would be easy to select more visible plays (like the safety in the Ohio State game or the interception in the Missouri game) as my favorite among your many outstanding individual plays during the Horns' 2005 football season.
But you did a lot more than just the individual plays, as good as they were. You helped, with your leadership and guts, the whole Texas defense excel during our national championship season -- especially in the clutch, when all the chips were on the table.
So, the play that I will remember (as long as memory serves) is what you did in the fourth quarter of the 2006 Rose Bowl, when USC had third down-and-seven -- on the play immediately preceding the more famous "fourth-and-two" stop that gave the football back to our offense in time to win the football game.
Were it not for what you did, Aaron Harris, on the third-and-seven play -- there probably would not have been a fourth-and-two stop, because LenDale White likely would already have made the first down for the Trojans.
What makes your effort on the third-and-seven play even more remarkable is that you did it on the ground in the middle of the action, almost sight unseen. And, to my knowledge, you have received no credit for the play ... nor have you asked for any credit, since the point from your perspective, apparently, is that the more important issue is that the Horns won the football game and the national championship.
But the television cameras did not miss the play.
As LenDale White crosses the line of scrimmage on third-and-seven, you fight off the USC lineman attempting to block you, and dive at LenDale's cleats -- grabbing his left ankle in the process. As a result, LenDale cannot move his left leg (although, if he could -- were it not for your play -- he would almost certainly have made the first down). Instead, he starts a spin move to try to escape your hold on his ankle.
The spin move "works" in the sense of freeing his left ankle from your grasp, but it does not work (for USC) in any other sense.
To complete the spin move, LenDale has to turn 360 degrees, and while he is doing that -- Brandon Foster hits him from the side. In effect, you and Brandon force LenDale to move directly into the path of Aaron Ross -- who jars the football loose from LenDale and creates a fumble that is recovered by USC, but causes the Trojans to lose a yard in the process ... which, in turn, sets up the "fourth-and-two" play.
Interestingly, as LenDale makes his 360-degree turn (before taking the hit from Ross), you lose your grasp on LenDale's left ankle -- but you never give up on the play. Instead, while you are prone on the ground in the middle of the play, you reach out and grab LenDale's right ankle.
As the camera pans the field (on the rerun of the play) to follow the fumble -- there you are, Aaron Harris, still holding on to LenDale's right ankle.
It would be interesting to know how many plays like that you made for the Horns over the past four football seasons -- plays that you made, almost unnoticed, in the thick of the battle, at the bottom of the pile.
The 2005 MNC commemorative issue of InsideTexas has a full-page picture of you doing the same thing in the Kansas game (another contest in the second half of the 2005 football season) -- making the tackle at the bottom of the pile. You should get a copy of that picture, imo, and keep it, Aaron Harris ...
... just in case anyone ever wants to know where you were when you were playing football as a senior MLB for the University of Texas football team that won the 2005 national championship.
Just show them the picture and tell them, if you wish, that you were just out there saving the day for the Horns.