Charles Harris might have already made it to the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten his roots.
Harris, the Miami Dolphins’ first-round pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, has spent his offseason in his hometown Kansas City, Missouri, working with high school football players hoping to take their craft to the next level.
“The workouts have been good, but the workouts will kill you,” Giovanni Franklin, a senior linebacker at Liberty High in suburban Kansas City, told the Missouri-based Courier-Tribune. “I can tell you that much.”
That’s exactly how Harris planned it. He wants to test the younger players as much as possible as early as possible to see if they’re willing to put in the necessary effort.
Franklin was one of three who rose to the occasion.
“The first workout is designed to make you break,” Harris told the newspaper, “and he made it through.”
The idea started in February, when Harris offered on Twitter to work out with high school athletes in the Kansas City area.
Harris wanted to serve as a mentor to the next generation of football players back home, something he said wished he had when he was rising through the ranks — first at Kansas City’s Lincoln Prep and then the University of Missouri — on his way to being the 22nd overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Harris nevertheless has held his own throughout his football career. He finished his rookie season with 19 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in a spot role for the Dolphins. Miami coach Adam Gase said at the NFL Scouting Combine that Harris will compete for a starting job this year, although the competition in his position room got a little steeper after the Dolphins traded for Robert Quinn.