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Harris returns to area to host youth football camps

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 10:05 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Anthony Harris went from the local football fields of Chesterfield County to L.C. Bird High School to the University of Virginia to the NFL. He wants to inspire those in the next generation in his hometown to chase their dreams as well.

Harris returned to Chesterfield County on Friday to host two football camps, a morning session at River City Middle School and an afternoon camp at L.C. Bird. Area stars Jalen Elliott, C.J. Reavis and Tim Harris joined him for one or both of the events.

“Today is just about giving back to the community that helped me growing up,” Harris said. “Just wanted to give back, come back and inspire the kids. I chased my dream and accomplished the dream of playing in the NFL and whatever you want to become in life, you’ve just got to continue to work at it and the community is here to support you.”

The former Skyhawk is about to begin his first season with the Philadelphia Eagles, after six campaigns with the Minnesota Vikings. Long before his NFL days, he was working on the same fields that young people in his community workout on today and he wants to remind them that he was once in their shoes.

“Years back I had the chance to meet a number of players and a number of guest speakers and they said ‘hey, whatever you want to do, just work at it, continue to believe, and I’m talking to one person in this crowd who’s really going to take it all in and they’re going to do something special,’” the defensive back recalled. “I just told myself that it was going to be me, so I’m really here just to share that message, hoping I can reach a few kids and really inspire them to really push to do what they want to do.”

Harris led the NFL in interceptions in 2019 and was franchise tagged by the Vikings prior to the 2020 season. This past offseason, he signed a one-year deal with the Eagles, hoping to bounce back after a down showing last year.

“I’m excited to be close to home, being back on the east coast, new change, new adversity, so I’m just embracing it and I’m excited for it all,” he said.

As for the other players with NFL experience on site to assist, Elliott is currently a safety with the Detroit Lions, Reavis is a free agent who last played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Tim Harris suits up at cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers. The group spoke to the young players about work ethic, responsibility and leadership prior to getting the football activities started.

Anthony Harris’s work isn’t done. He’ll take part in an Enrichment of Richmond Day on Saturday afternoon. The festivities will include a school supply drive, food and games. Benedictine graduate and Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive end Clelin Ferrell will also be making an appearance as a guest speaker. The event is from 2:00 PM- 5:00 PM at Broad Rock Park.

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