A woman from Detroit signed a football scholarship with Central Methodist University in Missouri.
Photo: skitterphoto/Pixabay
Photo: skitterphoto/Pixabay

Woman signs football scholarship with NAIA university in Missouri

A Detroit native became the first woman to sign a letter of intent to play football at a small Missouri college, KMIZ reported. She also has aspirations of being the first woman to play in the NFL.

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Antoinette “Toni” Harris, a safety who played at East Los Angeles College last season, signed Tuesday with Central Methodist University, an NAIA school, in Fayette, Missouri, the Kansas City Star reported. 

According to the East Los Angeles College website, Harris, who is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds, made three tackles and broke up a pass as a sophomore for the Huskies during the 2018 season.

According to a release from Central Methodist, Harris is “set to become the first female football player in school history and the first female skill position player to sign a letter of intent to play college football on a scholarship.”

Harris was named homecoming queen at Redford Union High School, which led some of her friends to try to talk her out of playing football, SBNation reported.

“All the time. They still do,” Harris told the website. “People tell me like, ‘Oh, it’s cool you play football … but you’ll never make it … and you shouldn’t be doing it.’”

Becca Longo, a kicker who signed with Adams University, a Division II school in Alamosa, Colorado, last spring, is believed to be the first female to earn a football scholarship, according to ESPN. Other women have made the rosters of men’s college football teams, but as walk-ons.

"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 in the school’s release.

Harris also had a scholarship offer to play at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, the Star reported.

She also appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Toyota.

"My dream moving forward is to become the first female NFL player,” Harris said NBC’s  “Today” show. “Sorry, I can't stop smilin' when I say that.”

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