December 26, 2007

Rangy athlete in Cyclones' stocking

Iowa State has gone back to a Texas high school for a second verbal commitment for football in the Class of 2008. Just a few days after getting a verbal commitment from one of his teammates and best friends, ISU got the same from Pflugerville (Tex.) Connally athlete Chase Harper just before the holiday. CycloneReport.com tracked down Harper the day after Christmas to talk to him directly and verify that the rumors of his commitment to the Cyclones were true.

Harper, a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder, said improvement in the classroom was the main reason for him receiving an Iowa State scholarship offer, which he quickly accepted.

"They've been serious about me for a long time but I had to get my grades right," Harper said. "I did that and Iowa State offered me and I committed to them a few days ago. Coach Jay Rodgers has been recruiting me for a long time. It happened last week actually. I've got to call Coach Gene Chizik and talk to him pretty soon, I need to do that now that Christmas is over." Harper said that Coaches Rodgers and Chizik have already made an in-home visit to see him.

Harper played on both sides of the ball for Connally, which went 7-4 this season. He envisions himself playing offense for Iowa State. He caught 32 passes for 613 yards and five touchdowns as a senior. Teammate Darius Darks was throwing most of the passes for Connally and, like Harper, he's verbally committed to ISU. Harper said that was a factor in his decision.

"We're real close, we live together in fact, he lives with my mom and me," explained Harper. "He's been up there and said it was great. So even though I have not visited yet, I felt like I knew enough to commit. I will be going up there in January, on the 18th and 19th, for my official visit."

Baylor was the only other Division I-A school to offer Harper and that came before the coaching change in Waco. He was mostly being recruited by junior colleges as expectations were that Harper would not be a qualifier in 2008. But he's confident he will be.

"It was my classroom work and my test score both," Harper said. "I've got my test score now and I am working to get my grades up where they need to be for high school." Harper said he has not decided on a major yet at Iowa State, but he would like to be a coach in the future.

Harper is a two-sport athlete that also excels in basketball at Connally. He has said that he'd like to play both sports in college, but offered no specifics on the potential for doing so at Iowa State.



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