Toni Harris Is One of the First Women in History to Get Non-Kicker Football Scholarship

March 21, 2019 Updated: March 27, 2019

This young lady has scripted history by being the first woman to accept a full scholarship to play football in a skilled position. After signing a letter of intent with the Central Methodist University in Missouri, she might be at the beginning of chasing her dreams to be the first woman to play at the NFL.

Meet 22-year-old Toni Harris, a 5-foot-7-inch-tall youngster who had to overcome a lot of hardships to make it to where she is today.

“A lot of coaches didn’t believe in me,” Harris told ESPN. “A coach told me, ‘Nobody’s ever going to play you to be at the next level.’ In the end, you’ve got to push yourself. I’m going to focus on my goals.”

Harris had her first taste of going to the next level when she was 18 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer and eventually overcoming it.

“I had a tumor inside of my stomach,” she told CNN affiliate KCBS/KCAL in 2017.

The 164-pound (approx. 74-kilogram) athlete has been playing football as a safety on the defensive side for East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in California for the past two seasons, where she was also an honors student.

Harris, who has been playing since she was a 6-year-old, was earlier offered scholarships to play football from Bethany College, an NAIA school in Kansas, Adams State University, Graceland University, and Kentucky Christian University. But when Central Methodist University made her an offer, she jumped right at it.

Speaking about her motivation toward the game, Harris told NBC Nightly News: “My biggest pet peeve is people telling me that I can’t. So, I have to prove them wrong.”

“I do not let anything stop me,” she added.

Harris also has a tattoo on her body that reads, “Be so good they can’t ignore you,” a saying that she lives by.

Opening up about her dream to be the first woman to play at the NFL, Harris said in an espnW Q&A, “The NFL is the dream.”

She further added: “I’m going to be working toward that until the death of me. Whether I go drafted or undrafted, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep my faith and God is going to take me there. But I also want to be a homicide detective with a background in forensics. I watch all the shows. My favorite is probably “Person of Interest” but I honestly watch them all.”

The determined Harris was also caught under the spotlight during the Super Bowl when she was featured in Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid commercial.

“I always try to push myself every single day and keep my faith in God to let me go as far as I want to go,” Toni told CNN before the commercial was aired.

The ad highlights how people usually tend to underestimate her as a player.

“I’ve never been a big fan of assumptions,” Harris said.

Toyota's 2019 Super Bowl commercial highlights the 2019 RAV4's toughness and resilience by comparing the SUV to powerhouse female football player Antoinette “Toni” Harris. https://loom.ly/oF3XZCw

Toyota of Katy 发布于 2019年2月12日周二

Alluding to the commercial, Harris further stated, “I feel like God put me in a position to be strong, to be that trailblazer and that role model for little girls everywhere to tell that this is something that they could possibly do. Whether it’s football, wrestling, basketball, whatever they want to do, it’s not impossible. You just have to have your faith to keep persevering through it.”

According to CNN, Harris’s mother, Uriia Jones, mentioned that she and her daughter had to fight in high school to get her onto the team. They convinced school officials in the Detroit area to give her a chance.

Jones said that Harris is “very headstrong.”

“If she puts her mind to it, that’s what she is going to do,” she added.

Breaking all boundaries, this girl of steel is focused on achieving her dreams.

Watch the video below:

Toni Harris, featured in Super Bowl ad, aspires to be 1st female NFL player

WATCH: Toyota's Super Bowl commercial featured Toni Harris, one of the first few women to ever play college football. Now, she's hoping to become the first ever female player in the NFL: https://cbsn.ws/2RVind7

CBS News 发布于 2019年2月3日周日

 

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