A simple insult ignited Lincoln Prep senior Charles Harris’ football career.
Sitting in a football meeting one afternoon in his junior year — even though he wasn’t on the football team — Harris was heckled by a few of the players, who told him he was too scared to set foot on the football field.
The following day, Harris approached Lincoln Prep football coach Lee Allen with a demand.
“I’m playing,” he said. “Find a spot for me.”
Thrilled, Allen handed Harris some pads and tried him out on the defensive line. He hasn’t left since.
Eighteen sacks and 100 tackles later, Harris earned a college scholarship from that insult — he signed Wednesday with Missouri.
“I could tell right away that I was stronger and more physical than the other guys,” Harris said. “I knew I could really do something with this.”
Harris grew up playing basketball, and he’s the leading scorer for the Lincoln Prep basketball team this season.
Harris, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end, said he was set to attend Missouri Western before receiving a phone call last week from Missouri assistant Andy Hill.
Hill offered him a scholarship Monday, Harris said.
“I said yes right away,” Harris said. “That’s where I wanted to go all along. I was just waiting for that phone call.”