While things are quieting down a bit for the Iowa Hawkeyes in the world of 2020 recruiting thanks to their hot start to the class, the coaching staff has begun to turn their attention, at least in part, to the class of 2021. With the start of fall camp only a few days away, the Hawkeyes hosted their annual junior day tailgater today.
The visitor list was quite extensive with guests from all over the Midwest and as far away as Florida. One such visitor was in state linebacker Jayden Harrell. This wasn’t his first trip to Iowa City and it certainly won’t be his last.
Today, he announced it will soon be his new home, as he is committed to the Hawkeyes.
I am excited to announce that I have committed to the University of Iowa.— Jaden Harrell (@jadenhH11) July 28, 2019
I would like to thank all of my coaches, teammates, friends and family that have helped me get to where I am!!@CoachSWallace @Coach_Niemann @HawkeyeFootball #swarm21 pic.twitter.com/AET6jg0GQU
Harrell is a 6’2” 215 pound linebacker from Urbandale. That’s an excellent frame for a sophomore linebacker. Aside from the frame, Harrell shows an impressive combination of instincts, speed and explosion. He has some versatility, but likely projects as an outside linebacker.
As a sophomore at Urbandale, Harrell recorded 67.5 tackles, 8 TFL and 2 sacks. Those are very solid for an upperclassman but downright impressive for his age. It was enough for both Iowa and Nebraska to offer this early. Surely many more will be involved over the next two years.
Harrell becomes Iowa’s third commitment in the class of 2021. He joins fellow Iowan Connor Colby and Illinois offensive lineman Gennings Dunker. He’s also the first commit on the defensive side of the ball.
As we saw with the 2020 class, Iowa’s need for linebackers is in question with the switch to more of a 4-2-5 base defense. While their athleticism makes them great special teams contributors, the Hawkeyes simply need fewer in their base defense. It’s possible Harrell is the only linebacker taken in 2021, though it seems more likely Iowa looks for one more to keep the cupboard full.
Welcome aboard Jaden Harrell!