Arlen Harris impressed by what he's seen from Stanford
When you have "Academic All-State" and "Honor Society" in your Twitter bio a Stanford offer is going to be well received. Arlen Harris Jr. has earned those academic accolades and offers from LSU, Penn State,Michigan, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota and others.
The Cardinal gave him is his most recent offer and he got the call from Ron Gould a couple days after he took part in a virtual visit. His father, also named Arlen, and mother, Heather, watched the visit with Harris and the balanced pitch of football and academics won over everyone.
"They fell in love with Stanford for that," Harris told Cardinal Sports Report in a phone call.
Harris' parents push him hard in school and that emphasis in his upbringing has shaped what he's looking for in a university and football program.
“I never wanted to be a guy who just relied on football to take me everywhere. We all know that one day it’s going to be over and I’m going to have a lot of time when I’m going to be doing something else. I wanted to make sure I challenged myself to do both and that’s what my parents instilled in me as a kid. That’s been a big thing for me looking at colleges to check their majors so I can set myself up for life after football.
“I want a place where I can be challenged on and off the field. That’s a really big one for me. I’d say relationships are pretty big. I want to go to a place where I feel wanted and pushed to be the best version of myself that I can be.”
Harris is not ready to name a list of top schools, but he said that Stanford, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, Florida and Missouri have done a good job of showing him what he's looking for.
The virtual tour of Stanford July 17 lasted about an hour and was led by Gould, offensive coordinator Tavita Pritchard and several recruiting staff. During part of the tour the coaches showed Harris videos of professors, current players and other staff -- such as strength and conditioning coach Cullen Carroll -- talking about the program and the opportunities at Stanford.
“I was very intrigued," Harris siad. "They really reeled me in as far as that because you could tell even from the players the type of men who come out of Stanford. They’re very mature and respectful. I keyed into stuff like that. As far as professors, they explained how this can be a once in a lifetime opportunity with the education and the people you meet. I paid close attention to stuff like that.”
He has four years before he'd have to declare a major at Stanford but he already has two diverse areas of focus in mind: animal science and business. His interest in business seems largely to be about a desire to understand how one functions, while animal science is connected to a passion he's already developed.
“I’ve always had a pull to animals and anatomy. I took biology sophomore year and I was very interested by it. I like to work with animals and I like to learn about them and the different aspects of life that they have for their survival, their environments and the way they think.”
Harris' father is helping guide him through the process by using his own experiences. He played at Virginia and was a top high school recruit out of Downington High in Pennsylvania. An injury ended his NFL career after six seasons.
“It’s a huge impact," Harris said of his father's experience. "It makes me feel like I’m not going through this alone because my dad knows the ins and outs of the whole thing.”