Notre Dame’s priority in enticing three-star defensive end Jalen Harris to flip his commitment from Arizona was winning over the pass rusher’s parents.
That was no easy task considering his father Sean played his college ball at Arizona before a stint in the NFL. His mother played basketball for the Wildcats.
Sean Harris was impressed with what he heard from the Irish coaches, especially as it related to the opportunity his son would have on the field and off of it.
“I thought they did great,” Harris said. “Jalen enjoyed his time with the players. It seems like the players were close and the coaches are involved with the players so it's truly a family away from his family. I thought they did a great job.”
Irish head coach Brian Kelly and defensive coordinator Mike Elko laid out their plans for how they’d use Harris in their new 4-2-5 scheme.
“I think they're on the right track,” Sean Harris said. “I love Mike Elko's scheme. I think he's going to put some kids in great position to have success and to win. I thought his plan to use Jalen, I really liked it. There's nothing to complain about.”
Elko sees Harris as a dominant pass rusher who could evolve into a four-down playmaker.
“He's going to play defensive end and mainly start off using him as a pass rusher and let his play determine it from there, whether he'll play every down or not,” Sean Harris said. “That's all guys need, is an opportunity.”
Harris committed to Arizona in August but landed an offer from Notre Dame earlier this month and immediately scheduled an official visit.
That trip gave him a lot to think about in the final hours before National Signing Day.
“It went really good,” Sean Harris said. “It went really well. Jalen enjoyed it and the family enjoyed the school. It's a great community and great atmosphere. They sold us on everything, the tradition, the football history, the success that they'll have in their future and also along with the academics.”
The Harris family will spend Monday discussing their options and hopefully have their plans finalized later that night.
“The process is to go home and then once he gets home with school and basketball practice to sit down on Monday and make a decision,” Sean Harris said. “That will be done by tomorrow I would say.”
Harris, ranked by Scout.com as the 55th best defensive end in the nation, plans to hold a signing ceremony at a local restaurant on Wednesday.