Some uncertainty surrounded Mesa (Ariz.) Desert Ridge 2017 pass rusher Jalen Harris during the past week, but much to Arizona fans’ delight, the legacy recruit is sticking with his commitment to the Wildcat program.
“It was really flattering to get the offers from Notre Dame and Washington, and I wasn’t messing around, I was seriously considering Notre Dame," Harris said.
"I kind of felt like I would be just another player there,” Harris said. “They were great, but it just didn’t feel like home. At Arizona, it wasn’t that they wanted me; it’s that they needed me and that was a big deal.”
Although Jalen’s father Sean, is one of the best players in the school history, the younger Harris felt no pressure to join his father’s school.
“I knew deep down where he wanted me to go, but he wanted me to be happy more so than anything," Harris said. "I knew all about the awesome teams that he played on here, but it was never a “you have to be like me” type thing.”
In fact, while Sean Harris was a run stuff linebacker, the angular Jalen figures to fill a different roll.
“They like me as a pass rusher and a guy that can drop back in coverage if need be," he said. "I know they need me to come in and hopefully play early.”
Harris hopes the team success mirrors the evolution that occurred during his father’s time.
“When my dad got there the U of A was good, but that Desert Swarm team took a few years to really get going," he said. "Arizona is struggling a little bit right now, but I think we can turn things around pretty quickly.”