The month of June was a busy stretch for the Arizona Wildcats recruiting department.
In the last week of June, the UA received commitments from a trio of three-star prospects: defensive end Robert Wooten, offensive tackle Woody Jean and tight end Drake Dabney. The Wildcats also landed verbal commitments from three-star offensive linemen Josh Baker and Cedric Melton.
While Kevin Sumlin and Co. had an eventful month with commitments, they also hosted top-shelf talent for visits, including four-star Phoenix defensive end Jason Harris on June 21.
Harris is the brother of current UA edge rusher Jalen, and son of Tucson native and former UA standout Sean, who was a first-team All-Pac-10 linebacker as a member of the “Desert Swarm” defense from 1994 to 1995 under coach Dick Tomey. Harris’ mother, Cha-Ron, played basketball at Arizona from 1996 to 1998.
Jalen is a redshirt sophomore this season and after recording 21 tackles and three sacks in 12 games last year, he is expected to be an impact player for the Wildcats in 2019.
Jason is a 6-foot-7-inch, 220-pound defensive end at Gilbert Higley High School and holds scholarship offers from Texas A&M, Oregon, UCLA, Alabama, ASU, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC, Texas, Penn State and Ole Miss among other notable Power-5 programs. He is listed as the seventh-best defensive end nationally and the sixth-best recruit in a loaded in-state 2020 recruiting class, per 247 Sports’ rankings.
A two-sport athlete, Jason is also a three-star basketball prospect and holds offers from ASU, DePaul, Florida State, Nevada, San Diego State and UNLV.
The Star caught up with Jason following his visit, here’s what he had to say:
How was your experience visiting the UA campus?
A: “I just loved the campus. It’s a nice and beautiful campus. I loved the coaches, and I had the chance to meet some of the people in the criminal justice area, and I think it has great teachers, and it’s a place where I can grow as a student and as an athlete.”
What intrigued you about the criminal justice major?
A: “I just started exploring it because that’s what my brother is taking right now. I pretty much just chose what he had.”
Jalen was your host, what did you do during the visit?
A: “It was cool. He took me downtown and showed me around the area a little bit. We went out a got some dessert so it was cool. We had “Insomnia Cookies.”
What was the best part about your visit to the UA?
A: “The coaches, the people there in Tucson. They’re friendly and nice people, and they just want to see everyone win.”
Whom do you model your game after?
A: “I like watching a lot of pass rushers like Von Miller, Khalil Mack, Julius Peppers, Calais Campbell.”
Have you discussed the possibility of being teammates with your brother again?
A: “We talk about it a lot. We played together in high school my freshman year, so getting to the quarterback with him would be awesome.”
When did you become taller than your brother?
A: “Probably around fifth or sixth grade, around there.”
How would you describe your childhood growing up with Jalen?
A: “We’ve always been close. We’ve been close since Day 1, and we talk almost every day. Whether I go to the U of A or not, that relationship will always be there. We always want what’s best for each other.”
What is one memory that defines the relationship you have with Jalen?
A: “I’ll remember this for a long time. During my first varsity game, I got my first sack, and we hit the quarterback together, too. We got up and did our little handshake, and being a freshman playing varsity in my first varsity game and being so nervous, getting a sack was big for me. My confidence definitely grew after that.”
Have you trimmed down your list of schools?
A: “I haven’t created a list yet, but I plan on doing that by the time summer ends, right before school starts.”
Have schools brought up the possibility of playing both basketball and football?
A: “Not really. I’m just being patient and enjoying the process.”
Would you like to play both if given the opportunity?
A: “I haven’t made that decision yet, but I’ll probably focus on football first and then see what basketball has to offer.”
How would you describe yourself to Arizona fans?
A: “I would say humble, hardworking and loves to work. I have a great work ethic.”