Toni Harris became the first woman to get a full college football scholarship and now plays for the Central Methodist Eagles.
While Harris had troubles finding schools that would allow her to play football, the Central Methodist Eagles offered her the opportunity to play, and her teammates embraced her as a fellow Eagle. Harris played the past two seasons at East Los Angeles College but became famous starring in a Super Bowl commercial.
Harris is playing as a defensive back on her new team and wants to be the first woman in the NFL. Harris worked hard for her spot and “[she] had to fight in high school to be on the team,” her mother Uriah Jones said, according to CNN. Harris believes in herself and that she will be able to make it even farther to the NFL. She will fight, as she fought for her spot in high school.
“I picked Central Methodist because of the resilience within the school itself and how Coach [David] Calloway had been communicating with me before the Super Bowl stuff ever popped up,” Harris said, according to Fox News.
Harris has been resilient through her life. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014 at age 18. At one point, she also had a tumor in her stomach, but that never brought her down or discouraged her from following her dream and having it come true. On February 16, she pursued her dream and posted on twitter that she signed a letter of intent to play college football.
“As a coach, giving someone the opportunity to go to college and assist them in getting a degree, that’s what it’s all about,” Eagles head coach David Calloway said of Harris, according to CNN.
While there have been a few women kickers on college football teams, Harris will be the first playing in a skill position. This is a big achievement and step forward for women in sports.
Harris has become a role model for young girls. She says, “If it doesn’t happen, I can just pave the way for another little girl to come out and play — or even start a women’s NFL,” Harris said, according to NFL.com. She wants to make a difference in society and get rid of stereotypes.