As Iowa State started picking up commitments for its 2014 class, there was a glaring need being passed over.
The Cyclones were getting lots of offensive players, but only secondary guys on the defensive side of the ball. With All-Conference middle linebacker Jeremiah George graduating, they badly needed a recruit to immediately fill that hole.
Cyclones fans, meet Jordan Harris, who might just be the guy to do so. The Copiah-Lincoln (JUCO) player told AllCyclones.com he was committing to the Cyclones on Tuesday night, giving them pledge No. 20 for the 2014 class.
Harris received an ISU offer shortly before his official Ames visit, over the weekend of Nov. 23. He was slated to visit Cincinnati this weekend and even had the Bearcats coaches come by Mississippi today, but decided he could no longer wait.
"I came home, had a heart-to-heart talk with my Mother and we came to agreement she'd support me wherever I go," Harris said. "I know she liked Iowa State the most; they showed I was wanted and needed."
Says Scout.com's Steve Robertson, who covers Mississippi: "Good get for Iowa State. Very productive guy."
Harris said Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, when he talked to Harris over the phone, said commit No. 20 was "an early Christmas present" for Iowa State.
"It's huge for me, too," Harris said.
The Cyclones under defensive coordinator Wally Burnham have landed a linebacker on the first-team all-conference team four consecutive seasons and have had A.J. Klein and Jake Knott drafted, with George hoping to join the club if he impresses this spring.
"That was a big part," Harris said. "I'll fall in line."
Harris is a December graduate who'll have two seasons to play. The onetime Southern Miss commit chose Iowa State over Cincinnati, California, North Texas, MTSU and others.
"Cincy, they're in a good conference, but I like the Big 12 better," Harris said. "Better competition, week in and week out."
Harris, a native of Clarksdale, Miss., will sign next week. He attended Copiah-Lincoln after receiving smaller offers from Memphis, Arkansas State and Alcorn State out of high school.