Christopher Harris Jr. was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 18, 1989. From a very early age it was clear that Chris was a natural-born athlete. As a student at Bixby High School, Chris earned all-state honors in both football and basketball, while also earning varsity letters in track. In the end, Chris’s passion and talent in football prevailed and that became his focus as he moved onto college.
Harris attended college and played football at the University of Kansas. Although KU is not traditionally known for their football program, Chris managed one of the most successful football careers the school had ever seen. Chris served as Team Captain his senior year, leading the team to an Orange Bowl victory and earning Defensive Back of the Year honors. By the end of his college career, Chris has landed himself at #2 on the Kansas football all-time tackles list.
Despite a successful college career, Chris was not selected in the NFL draft. Chris began to realized that as an underdog if he wanted to play in the NFL he would need to take his game to the next level. Chris was more than up for the challenge. He continued to train harder than ever and eventually earned an invitation to the Denver Broncos training camp. Upon joining camp, Chris was not considered by coaches to be a likely candidate to make the team. But once again Chris worked hard at practice to prove to everyone that he deserved to make the team. His performance was good enough to earn him a roster spot and a $2000 signing bonus.
Chris started strong with the Broncos, concluding his rookie season with impressive stats and was voted on Denver’s All-Rookie Team, Breakout Player of the Year and Overachiever of the Year. The next two seasons Chris put up elite numbers in line with the best defensive backs in the NFL, but was still overlooked and underrated. In the 2014 AFC championship game Chris tore his ACL and it appeared that the end of his underdog story had finally been written.
But Chris was not ready for his story to end. He had surgery and did not miss a single day of rehab to get ready to start the first game of the 2014 season. Miraculously this was the season where he transformed himself from the underrated underdog to the unstoppable ‘Pitbull’ – a nickname his teammates gave him because of his size and tenacity on the field. Chris also solidified his reputation as the smartest corner in the game for the way he meticulously prepares for opposing offenses by studying them for hours on his tablet computer. The season ended with Chris being voted All-Pro, receiving his first Pro-Bowl team, and being ranked as the best cornerback in the NFL by the sports statistics agency Pro Football Focus.
Chris also has many passions off the field. In 2012 he married his college sweetheart Leah, and in 2014 they welcomed their first daughter, Aria, into the world. In 2013 Chris and Leah launched the Chris Harris Jr. Foundation. His inspiration for the foundation was his own underdog story, so the foundation seeks out other underdogs and helps give them rise above their obstacles to achieve greatness.