Harris Likes ISU's Style

After splitting carries with a teammate one season ago, Clearwater (Fla.) High running back Jason Harris is flourishing in a full-time role this fall. The 6-foot, 200-pound tailback has put the Tornado offense on his back and carried them to the state playoffs.

Harris' exploits have also put him on the radar of several Division I football programs, including Iowa State, which has sent assistant coach Chris Ash to Clearwater on a few occasions.

"I've gotten offers from five colleges – North Carolina, South Carolina, Akron, Iowa State, and Boston College," said Jason Harris. "I'm very interested in all of them. I've also heard that Ole Miss could be offering me, but I'm not sure on that right now."

His recruitment appears to be on hold until the playoffs are over. Harris has scheduled one official visit for the weekend of Jan. 14 to South Carolina, but likely won't schedule any more until his team's postseason run is over.

"I've only set up one visit right now," he said. "I'm going to wait it out for the rest of my offers right now, but if that's what I have when it's time to schedule my visits, I'm going to go with those. I'll start looking more into it after the season is over."

Heading into an opening-round playoff game against Gulfport Boca Ciega, Harris has 1,135 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He seems to be peaking at the right time of the season. In a 35-7 victory over Largo last weekend, Harris had touchdown scoring runs of 75 and 95 yards in the first quarter, and finished with close to 200 on the ground.

Harris says he is a nominee for county player of the year this fall. After starting as a sophomore, he had to split carries as a junior and rushed for 800 yards and seven scores.

Division I coaches like Harris' no-nonsense running style, and breakaway speed that goes along with it.

"I'm a North-and-South type of guy," he said. "I make one move and go. I can pound it and pound it, but can also outrun most defensive backs when I get in the open field. I think I've got a lot of speed and power. That's what sets me apart from other running backs."

That type of runner is what the Cyclones have preferred over the years, and it appears Ash is relaying that message Harris' way.

"I talked to Coach Ash when he came down, and he said they really like to run the ball a lot," Harris said. "That's just what I'm looking for. I'm interested a lot in them. I am pretty sure I'll be taking a visit there, because of the running game they have. I like the colleges I have now, but some aren't very good running teams. I think Iowa State has been very successful at the running back position."

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