Juan Harris had to realize that his third verbal commitment to the Iowa football team in barely six months would be met with skepticism.
It’s only natural that some fans would have a wait-and-see attitude where Harris is concerned, thinking this was just another impulsive act by a confused kid.
Maybe Harris, a 6-foot-4, 350-pound defensive tackle in the 2017 class, got swept up by the recent wave of commitments and couldn’t resist joining the 13 other high school recruits who have committed to Iowa in June.
Or maybe he just needed some attention with the dog days of summer approaching.
Or maybe it was something simple and innocent, like needing more time and more information to make the right decision.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t really matter.
Harris will either stay committed to Iowa this time or he won’t.
My hope is that Harris does what’s best for him in the long run and that fans remember he’s only a teenager.
Picking a college is a huge decision, probably the biggest decision for most teenagers at that stage of their development. Throw football into the mix and the decision process becomes more stressful because there is more to consider than just academics.
Teenagers are impressionable. They live in the moment and don’t always think about the consequences of their behavior.
It’s obvious that Harris wasn’t ready to commit to Iowa the first two times or he would’ve stayed committed.
But maybe the third time will be different. Maybe it’ll be a charm.
What I don’t understand are the people who feel a need to criticize Harris on social media for being indecisive or in need of attention. It’s probably a good thing that Harris’ twitter account is protected because that shields him from the trolls that are lurking.
The problem with criticizing Harris besides it being cruel is that only a few people know all the circumstances. Most of us don’t know why Harris changed his mind twice after committing to Iowa. We don’t know who is influencing his decisions or who’s providing him with guidance and encouragement.
It’s been suggested that Harris likes the attention and that’s why he keeps changing his mind about attending Iowa. But if that were case, then why did Harris pick the Hawkeyes now when he didn’t have to?
He probably would get more attention by staying uncommitted and exploring his options, which reportedly include schools like Texas, Michigan and Wisconsin.
From a football standpoint, Harris appears to be the real deal.
He looked like a man competing against boys while playing for North Fayette High School as a sophomore last season.
He also stood out at the Opening in April in suburban Chicago while competing against some of the top high school recruits in the Midwest. There were times at the Opening when Harris was virtually unstoppable as a defensive lineman.
I kept having to remind while watching Harris overpower offensive linemen at the Opening that he was only a sophomore in high school.
The Iowa coaches are prohibited by NCAA rules from talking about a specific recruit before the recruit has signed a national letter of intent. That means they’ll have to stay quiet about Harris for another year-and-a-half.
A lot could happen during that time to both sides.
One thing that’s different about Harris’ third commitment to Iowa compared to the first two times is that it came after he had collected a bunch of scholarship offers and after he had taken a closer look at some other schools. Harris has more to compare Iowa to at this stage, and yet, he still favors the Hawkeyes.
It’ll be up to the Iowa coaches and players to make sure the program remains attractive to Harris, especially with him reportedly having so many scholarship offers. Harris might want to reconsider if Iowa struggles on the field this fall, knowing that he has other options.
Harris also has to live up to his end of the deal. He has to stay focused and driven, not only on the playing field, but more importantly, in the classroom.
He has to show that he wants to be a Hawkeye. But he doesn’t owe anybody an apology for not being sure about that until now.