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Sun Devil Legends Series: No. 82 Al Harris

After Bob Kohrs checked in at No. 95, we had to wait to unveil his partner in crime. With Al Harris checking in at No. 82, the greatest defensive duo in ASU history has now received our proper recognition.

This was a familiar site for Sun Devil fans in 1978.
This was a familiar site for Sun Devil fans in 1978.
ASU Athletics

The Backstory: After a run of tight ends dominated our "Sun Devil Legends Series" through the high 80s, we're back to the defensive side of the ball for the second consecutive day.

With Shane Collins taking home the honors at No. 83, Sun Devil fans learned the meaning of true consistency. Fortunately, that theme continues at No. 82 as our legend recorded three straight incredible seasons at the defensive end position.

While No. 82 is thought of as a wide receiver's number in today's world, even our honorable mention list has a definite defensive feel. That's because in the early days of Sun Devil football, many of the toughest and most rugged defenders slapped a number in the 80s on their backs.

The Player: Al Harris (1976-1978)

Outside of Terrell Suggs, no Sun Devil defensive end has ever been able to match the intensity and impact of Al Harris on the football field. The outstanding end earned a starting role for three years in the late 1970s and gathered a reputation as one of the hardest-hitting players to ever come through Arizona State.

Harris' career began in 1976 when he burst onto the scene as an Honorable Mention All-Western Conference selection. Harris' 10 tackles for loss led the team that season, but he proved that this was just the beginning of an illustrious career.

In 1977, Harris recorded an astounding 107 tackles from his defensive end position and garnered 1st Team All-Western Conference honors in what would be Arizona State's final season in the conference.

Harris and the Sun Devils left the conference with a bang, but he saved quite the opening salvo for Arizona State's inaugural Pac-10 season. In 1978, Arizona State recorded sacks for the first time in school history and it couldn't have come at a better time.

The potent pass rusher tallied a school-record 19 sacks that still stands as second all-time behind Terrell Suggs in the school record books. That season, Harris teamed up with Bob Kohrs who recorded 14 sacks on the other side of the defensive line to become quite the dynamic duo.

Harris stole the show that season and brought home plenty of recognition to prove it. Aside from being named 1st Team All-Pac-10, Harris was named a consensus All-American en route to one of the finest seasons in school history.

In the Pros: After conquering every challenge at the college level, Harris moved on to the NFL as the ninth overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft.

The Chicago Bears selected Harris and he went on to play nine seasons with the club before finishing his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately for Harris, he missed the 1985 Super Bowl season with Chicago due to a contract dispute.

However, Harris' career highlights do include 20.5 sacks and four interceptions, which are certainly numbers to be proud of.

The Honorable Mentions

Junior Ah You: When our "Sun Devil Legends Series" concludes, Ah You will have case as one of the most talented Sun Devils to be left off of our list. His career highlights include three straight seasons as a 1st Team All Western Conference defensive end and being named the MVP of the 1971 Fiesta Bowl.

John Helton: Another defensive player to wear No. 82, Helton earned 1st Team All Western Conference honors as a tackle in 1968.

Doug Allen: A scrappy wide receiver, Allen was named a team captain in 1984 and led the team in receiving that season. Allen's 14 receiving touchdowns that year set the single-season school record.

Other Famous 82s

Raymond Berry: As Johnny U's favorite target, Berry made six Pro Bowls during his Hall of Fame career.

John Stallworth: Stallworth enjoyed a 14-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers that included four Pro Bowls and four Super Bowl victories.