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KC native, Detroit Lions DE Charles Harris prepares for NFL season opener at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium

Seahawks Lions Football
Posted at 6:15 AM, Sep 07, 2023

VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Taylor Hemness

The Kansas City Chiefs 2023 NFL season opener represents a big-time homecoming for at least one member of the Detroit Lions.

Defensive end Charles Harris went to high school at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City then played in college at the University of Missouri.

He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2017, just 12 picks after the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes. He's played at Arrowhead Stadium before, but never on a stage quite like this. 

The announcement of the Lions as the Week 1 opponent for the Chiefs was a surprise to some, but a welcome one for Harris and his family.

"Actually, my brother was the first one to tell me,” Harris said. “He was like, ‘Man, you check the schedule yet?’ and he was the first one I talked to about it. He's excited; the whole family is excited."

Harris spoke with KSHB 41 anchor Taylor Hemness just days before the game and said it’s actually pretty cool to get one of his team’s toughest tests of the season right out of the gate.

"Instead of you getting that tough game (in) Game 3, Game 4, you really start finding about who you are as a team, what's your identity, especially as a defense," Harris said. “For us to get this game off the bat, it's great."

Even if his job is to bring down No. 15, Patrick Mahomes.

"You've got to understand, he's going to make plays,” Harris said. “It's that simple. He's not going to be MVP and not make plays. Understand he's going to make plays, but also understand how did he make it and was that (your) mistake."

Harris still has strong ties to Kansas City. Five years ago, he donated $100,000 toward the renovation of the Lincoln Prep football field and he was here again this summer hosting a football camp.

He said relationships with people who are growing up where he grew up are important.

"I don't really want to make it a big hurrah when I come into town," Harris said. "But when I do come, I try to meet and greet as many people as I can. I see a lot of high school students and a lot of teachers that I knew back in the day invite me to their high schools to speak."

Harris has played at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium twice before — with the Miami Dolphins, who drafted him in the first round in 2017, and with the Atlanta Falcons a couple of seasons ago.

He said when he plays Thursday, he'll thinking about every member of the Lions organization, from the chef to the janitor, and how proud they'll be to say they work for the team if the Lions pull off the upset over the Chiefs in Week 1.