MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Simon Moore always knew his grandson, Darius Harris, would do something special.
“It seemed like 3 years old, they came here — two or three, they came over here and he threw me a ball,” said Moore. “I said, this kid is going to be special.”
Sunday, the former Horn Lake standout will suit up with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.
But, his journey to the pros was far from conventional.
“Going to Middle Tennessee State it just makes you work harder being that they’re not a high name school like some of the other schools,” Harris said. “It just kinds of humbles you to work harder and understand that even though it’s a smaller school, if you have talent the people at the professional level will find you.”
“After my freshman year it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I wanted to leave and go back to junior college to do the whole recruiting process again. But then, my coach and my mama ended up talking to me and I ended up sticking it out and that was probably the best decision that I made.”
During his college career, he also had to overcome two shoulder injuries.
“It was his senior year,” said Harris’ mom, Yolanda Lee. “If he got surgery, then he would’ve missed his whole senior year. The scouts were already looking at him, agents were interested in him. That’s when he realized he could possibly go to the next level. So, he was playing in a brace. I didn’t even realize how bad it was because he played some of his best games injured.”
While he wasn’t drafted, Harris signed with Kansas City as a free agent in 2019. This year, in the Chiefs final two games of the season, Harris registered 11 tackles and a fumble recovery against the Falcons.
“It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,” said Harris. “You can’t let whatever situation you’re in determine where you go. It just kind of helped me understand what I need to and maybe I have to put in extra work being that I’m being the 8 ball.”
“I still just cannot believe it, it’s amazing,” Lee said. “To look where he came from and the opportunity that he’s been given to play in the Super Bowl which is every child’s dream.”
Harris already has one Super Bowl ring, to get another one he’ll have to get through Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Tampa.
“Tom Brady was his childhood idol, from 6th grade on,” said Moore. “He had Tom Brady underwear, Tom Brady jersey, Tom Brady caps, everything about Tom Brady. He was obsessed with Tom Brady because Tom Brady was a winner and he liked that.”
“They’re paying him to play defense, so Tom Brady has to lose.”
And, Harris will have his late grandmother there with him every step of the way.
“She passed in March of 2019 and he signed in April,” Lee said. “But before she died, she said he was going to make it.”