Harmon earned a spot in New England as a somewhat surprising third-round selection after a career as a heady, hardworking, talented force in the back end of the defense for the Scarlet Knights.
Like so many players, for Harmon football has always been a labor of love.
But the 6-1, 200-pounder interestingly also has a love of labor.
You see Harmon was a Labor Studies major at Rutgers. He was actually taking a sports labor class during the NFL lockout back in 2011 and followed the negotiations between the league’s owners and players more closely than you might expect from the average college student, or even a player with future NFL aspirations.
“We were going through things like that and going through the CBA in my class,” Harmon recalled at rookie mini-camp. “I thought it was very interesting. That’s one of the things, the sports labor class is what really made me want to go to law school and study labor law.”
So did the players get a good deal with the new CBA, the one that essentially led to the slotted contract that he signed with New England this week? Or could he have worked out a better deal?
Harmon responded with a big laugh, “To tell you the truth I think they got a great deal. I think [NFLPA head] DeMaurice Smith did a wonderful job in doing what he does. The players definitely got a good deal.”
As Harmon alluded to, had things not worked out in football the All-Big East safety had planned to go on to law school and study labor. One day, Harmon would actually even like to take over Smith’s job and run the NFLPA.
“That’s something that really intrigues me. I would definitely like to work towards getting in the NFLPA and just working my way up,” Harmon said. “I like the idea of unions and all that and just trying to help football players. There are a lot of things that football players still need help with. The NFLPA is doing a great job, but I think there are still some things. A football player being able to run the NFLPA would really help and push certain things.”
For now, though, Harmon will be focused on his first job as the newest signed, sealed and delivered member of Patriots.
Harmon also realizes he was a bit of surprise third-round pick. Heck, his mother is still recovering from her disappointment that the TV networks didn’t have highlights of her boy ready to go on the second day of draft coverage.
He knows Bill Belichick showed faith in him as a player, regardless of what others may have been thinking, and Harmon plans on rewarding that faith.
“For coach Belichick to put that much faith in me is just amazing,” Harmon said. “Obviously he sees a lot of things in me. I’m just making sure I hold up my end of the bargain.
“What I did in college is what got me here. So I just have to keep doing what I was doing and just get better each and every day. And I think I’ll be fine.”
For now, law school and labor will have to wait. Because Harmon has work to do.