Toni Harris made history at her community college, East Los Angeles College, when she became the first woman to play on their football team. Yesterday, she made history again. The free safety yesterday signed a letter of intent to attend Central Methodist University in Missouri. She will be attending on a full football scholarship. Harris is the first woman to sign a letter of intent to attend a university on a football scholarship. She also appeared earlier this year in a Super Bowl advertisement for Toyota, becoming the first female football player ever to do so.
Overcoming the Odds
Originally from Detroit, Harris understands overcoming long odds. She grew up in the foster care system and beat ovarian cancer at 18. She is also the first member of her family to go to college. She has a competitive side that makes her need to prove people wrong when they tell her she can’t do something. Her biggest pet peeve is when people tell her she can’t, and she takes great joy in proving them wrong.
Toni Harris had offers from 5 other schools to play football. The coach at Central Methodist, she says, won her over by being interested before she became “famous”. Before the Super Bowl ad ran, Coach Calloway was expressing interest in her and communicating regularly. She also says the school itself, their resilience, attracted her to the program. Her dream is to become the first female NFL player.
From all of us at TSJ, Toni, we wish you the best as you follow your dreams in Missouri!
Written by Susannah Schmidt
Follow me on Twitter @SusannahElyse