Arlen Harris Jr. is looking for a college program that cares about more than just football. He sees that at the University of Iowa.
The Hawkeye offered the four-star Class of 2022 running back a scholarship two years ago when he was a freshman. He’s visited campus multiple times.
“I like the culture of Iowa and just the family ties that are built from going there,” Harris Jr. told HN. “I like how athletes are challenged on and off the field. I also like that the program isn’t just meant for football. It’s meant to build great men in life.”
The Hawkeyes face stiff competition in their pursuit of the St. Peters (MO) Lutheran ball carrier. Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State and Stanford are among his 19 scholarship offers.
“Iowa is definitely a Top 5 for me. Stanford, Mizzou, Michigan, Penn State and Florida also are standing out,” he said.
Harris Jr. (6-0, 200) rushed for 1,763 yards and 32 touchdowns as a sophomore last fall. Lutheran finished 10-3 and reached the state quarterfinals. He’s totaled 2,868 yards and 54 scores on the ground in two seasons of varsity ball.
The Hawkeyes dedication to the running game when a lot of programs are pass happy intrigues Harris Jr. He also shares a strong bond with the program’s coach at his position.
“I love coach (Derrick) Foster because I feel so comfortable with him. When we talk over the phone, we don’t always have to talk about football. We talk about ourselves and different things we like just to get to know each other. I see that he wants his players to grow in life and be great people,” Harris Jr. said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented recruits from visiting campus or meeting face to face with college coaches. The Hawkeyes already had built a strong foundation with him, however.
“It helps a lot because I know what Iowa is about and what it’s like there. So, it’s really just continuing to build relationships and getting closer,” Harris Jr. said.
He doesn’t have a timeline for his college decision. He’s focusing on leading Lutheran this fall and then looking more at his recruiting process.
“I’m not sure when I will commit, but I don’t want to wait too late past my junior year,” Harris Jr. said.
Rivals and 247 both rank Harris Jr. as a four-star prospect. He’s 247’s No. 14 running back in the ’22 class, while Rivals puts him at No. 21.
Here’s a look at his sophomore highlights: