Virginia Football Alumni Club honors Anthony Harris today as “Hoos Making a Difference”

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: NBC Sports

Anthony Harris’ day couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start Tuesday when the NFL veteran and former UVA star defensive back was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles.

A lot of guys wouldn’t have wanted to go out in public. But that’s not Anthony Harris.

Instead, Harris showed up at a charity event at 5 p.m. in Cherry Hill, N.J., just outside Philly, and took a group of kids on a shopping spree at a sporting goods store. Each kid, all athletes, were presented $150 gift cards.

Harris, who will be honored at today’s Virginia vs. Richmond game by the Virginia Football Alumni Club in its “Hoos Making a Difference,” program, saw it as a double-edged opportunity to make a strong impression on these kids.

“Today I wanted to come out and make sure that I shared that message of wherever you want to go, it’s never going to be easy,” Harris told the Eagles Insider. “There’s going to be adversity, there’s going to be tough days, but just handle it in stride, continue to do the things that you can control and just let life take its natural course.”

Harris, 30, was re-signed the next day to the Eagles’ practice squad, but still, it was a bit of a surprise that he was cut because he started 14 games last season for the Eagles and was a regular starter in training camp. However, when Philly acquired 24-year-old Chauncy Gardner-Johnson from New Orleans, the Eagles made the move.

“Now that I’m blessed though to have this kind of platform, I just try to continue to inspire people and help people and encourage them,” Harris said. “As well as be a resource to them to allow people to chase their dreams and be able to see different things and experience different things that may give them an opportunity to see life a little bit differently and really give it their all to achieve their goals.”

Harris signed with the Eagles last year after six years with the Minnesota Vikings. He signed another one-year contract with the Eagles in March.

He has gained a reputation for his good deeds during his NFL career, and that is one of the reasons the UVA Football Alumni Club singled him out as its first “Hoos Making a Difference” honoree this season.

Each home game, a former Wahoo from the various generations of football players will be honored for their good work off the football field.