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27 Days Until Hawkeye Football: Jermari Harris and Jack Johnson

Two freshmen looking to see the field for the black and gold.

Can a talented freshman earn a role in Phil Parker’s secondary?
Image via @_jmar27

A true freshman and a redshirt freshman continue our countdown to Hawkeye football.

Jermari Harris, RS freshman

Chicago, IL (Montini Catholic)

6’1”, 177 lbs

2020 Projection: Backup defensive back and special teams

Jermari Harris was one of 8 true freshmen to see the field for the Hawks last year, appearing in two games. Harris played in the Iowa State game and recorded two tackles against Middle Tennessee. Harris is a Chicago-area product, playing football, basketball, and track in high school. He also was academic all-conference. Jermari also has been named to the 2020 Leadership Group.

Harris seems to have good ball skills and instincts; he picked off eight passes his senior year in high school. I was looking for some comparisons and his ballhawking reminds me a little bit of Desmond King. King set an incredible record of 29 interceptions in his high school career in Michigan. Phil Parker turns defensive backs into NFL players every year. At 6’1” Harris has some nice size and length.

Jack Johnson, True Freshman

West Des Moines, IA (Valley)

6’0”, 190 lbs

2020 Projection: Redshirt

Wide receiver Jack Johnson comes to the Hawkeyes after helping Valley to a 22-2 record the past two years. Johnson caught 7 touchdowns his senior year. He was a team captain and won an award for academics. His highlight video includes some nice catches, but I was most impressed with his blocking. At Iowa we say “Punting is Winning”; we also say “Receivers blocking is winning” (Ok, so I made that part up). Johnson looks to be a do-it-all type of player. He had some nice toe-dragging catches, was utilized often with a bubble screen (shout out to Coach O’Keefe), and had some nice instincts after the catch. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a gunner on special teams early in his career.