A man whose voice the Wisconsin-Milwaukee power forward didn't recognize dialed his cell phone in late March and introduced himself as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs. The scout asked Harris to contact him as soon as possible if the 6-foot-6, 237-pound senior had any interest in trading his high tops for football cleats.
"I had no idea this was coming," Harris recalled. "I listened to the message like five times. I was like, 'I can't believe it. I don't think this is real.'"
It's understandable Harris initially assumed he was the victim of a prank because that explanation seemed more reasonable than an NFL team showing interest in him. Harris was once an all-state receiver and safety as a senior at Jacksonville High School, but the Arkansas native had scarcely even played touch football with his buddies since giving up the sport four years ago to pursue basketball in college.
Skeptical yet intrigued, Harris called the scout back later that day. He learned Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey became aware of his football past as a scout for the Green Bay Packers and made a note in his calendar two years earlier to remind himself not to forget about the promising receiver turned power forward.
Since Harris had little chance of pursuing professional basketball and was only a few months from graduating, he eagerly accepted an invitation to work out for the Chiefs in Milwaukee on April 5. That left him barely a week to prepare for the most important interview of his life, a workout in which he would have to prove to the Chiefs he had the potential to make the same transition from basketball that NFL stars Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham once did.Read More »from Four years after giving up football to pursue hoops, Demetrius Harris may yet reach the NFL