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Andy Reid praises former basketball player Demetrius Harris

Jared Berggren, Demetrius Harris, Ryan Evans

Wisconsin’s Jared Bergrren (40) blocks a shot by Milwaukee’s Demetrius Harris during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, in Madison, Wis. At right is Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)


The most inexperienced football player at the Chiefs’ Organized Team Activities has caught coach Andy Reid’s eye.

When Reid was asked by reporters today to name a player who has stood out at OTAs, he at first said he didn’t want to single anyone out. But Reid then reconsidered and mentioned Demetrius Harris, a former Wisconsin-Milwaukee basketball player who didn’t play college football but signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent.

“I’ll give you one: Harris has done a real nice job,” Reid said. “He came in as a basketball player and he’s just gotten better and better every day. You see him out here making plays, I’m sure you guys noticed that. I’m proud of him for the way he’s worked. That’s not an easy transition.”

Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey loved Harris’s potential and was eager to sign him after the draft, and the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Harris is now hoping to follow in the footsteps of Antonio Gates and go from college forward to NFL tight end. Reid said the Chiefs’ mantra with Harris has been, “Just learn,” and while there’s still a lot more for Harris to learn, through his first month with the team he has made a good impression.

“He’s making the most of it so far,” Reid said of Harris.

Harris is still a long way from being able to contribute on Sundays, but if he keeps improving he has an excellent chance of staying with the team into the regular season, if not on the 53-man roster then on the practice squad. Harris has the athletic ability to make it in the NFL, and now he’s showing his coach that he has the work ethic to make it in the NFL.