While Iowa State has already put plenty of emphasis on McKeesport (Pa.) defensive tackle Curtis Harper in recent months, the Cyclones might have an additional recruiter in the form of Harper’s now former teammate.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Harper cut his list to a Top-10 this week, trimming his group of potential suitors to include the likes of Boston College, Syracuse, UCONN, Wake Forest, Maryland and others in addition to Iowa State.
In addition to Matt Campbell and Co., Harper is also hearing about the Cyclones from McKeesport (Pa.) linebacker Tymar Sutton, who signed with Iowa State in the 2016 class and arrives in Ames this month.
“He’s kind of trying to put that out there because we’re great teammates and know how to adapt quick. He really wants to get another three years or four maybe to play with another teammate,” Harper said of Sutton. “He said what he liked about the coaches is that they’re straight up. They’re going to tell you what they want to see and they’re always going to keep it truthful with you.”
That message for Harper is one of need. The Cyclones will graduate a handful of defensive linemen following the upcoming 2016 season and Harper is a priority for the staff in building out the future of the defensive line.
Harper would fit in Iowa State’s interior, likely as a three-tech player.
“They really like me as a defensive lineman,” Harper said of Iowa State coaches. “They said they like the way I move, the way I get off the ball, the things I can do with my size and they want to get me up there as soon as possible.”
Harper has already visited eight of his Top-10 schools between last year and this spring with Iowa State and Colorado State still awaiting trips. Harper’s upcoming summer with thus be quiet, though he hopes to make his way to Ames.
“The possibility is probably an 80 percent chance depending how much money I have to pay,” Harper said. “We’ll see on that. [It’d] probably [be] June or July.”
Until then, he’ll continue to build his relationship with Iowa State and other schools ahead of a decision later this year.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Coach Campbell and Coach [Tyson] Veidt,” Harper said. “I hit them up a lot just because I really like the school. I really want to get down there.”