The Kansas City Chiefs announced their final 53 man roster yesterday, and for now, former UW-Milwaukee basketball player Demetrius Harris is still on the team.
The 6’7 tight end played at Milwaukee from 2011-2013 as a power forward.
In 2012-2013, Demetrius made 28 starts for the Panthers, averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest.
After finishing his career at UWM last year, Harris was approached by NFL scouts who were intrigued by his size and speed, following the path of numerous NFL tight ends that started as basketball players in college, such as Pro-Bowlers Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, and Tony Gonzalez. After working out for numerous teams and going undrafted, Harris signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, who were the first team to approach him.
Despite injuries to 3rd round rookie Travis Kelce and veteran Anthony Fasano, Harris did not make the roster in his first season. Not having played football since high school, Harris was extremely raw in route running, blocking, and the intricacies of an NFL offense. He was signed to the practice squad and spent the 2013 season developing.
Coming into the 2014 season, they lost veteran utility man Sean McGrath and didn’t add any tight ends to the team. With a year under his belt and knowledge of Andy Reids complex offense, Harris had a shot. While still developing his pass catching, he worked as the no. 3 tight end behind Kelce and Fasano.
In the preseason, Harris had 2 catches on 10 targets for 40 yards. He got most of his playing time in the preseason finale vs the Green Bay Packers. He has eight targets on the night but only reeled in one of them.
Despite his struggles, the coaching staff thought his special teams value covering kicks was good enough to make the roster. Harris is now the first UWM Panther to be on an NFL roster since Mike Reinfeldt retired in 1983.
Check out out the story former UWM Post editor Tony Atkins and WTMJ-4 made when Harris was being worked out.
Along with one from Ryan Ellerbusch, videographer, then videographer for Midwest Ballers.