Toni Harris became the first female football player at a skilled position to sign a letter of intent for a football scholarship on Tuesday.
Harris had already broken barriers as the first female football player in East Los Angeles College’s history and also the first female football player to appear in a Super Bowl advertisement earlier in February.
On Tuesday, the East LA College Siberian Husky held a news conference to mark the historic moment and sign the letter of intent to play football at Central Methodist University in Missouri. The school has offered Harris a full scholarship to play college football.
Harris, who is an honors student at East LA College, plays defense as a free safety.
The Detroit native has a history of overcoming long odds, having grown up in foster care and survived cancer at age 18. She’s the first person in her family to graduate high school and go to college, intending to study criminal justice.
“Toni Harris has shown great resolve in her journey and quest to be a college football player,” Bobby Godinez, who coached Harris at East LA College, said in a statement released by the school. “She has shown herself to be a great teammate here at East Los Angeles College and a great member of this community. We all wish her the best in her journey beyond ELAC.”
Harris, who has stated her goal of becoming the first female in the National Football League, will take the next giant step towards that ultimate goal.
“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.