Despite scholarship offers from more than a half dozen programs and a three-star ranking next to his name, Cedar Falls (Iowa) athlete James Harrington has decided he will not pursue his football career beyond the high school level.
"I already decided I'm not going to play football in college," Harrington said. "I will probably play just one sport in college and that will probably be track. I love running track and probably like football the least. I'm pretty set on just running track."
Harrington held offers in football from programs like Kansas State, Army, Northern Iowa, Nevada and Ohio University, but he also held full-ride offers from Oral Roberts, Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin and Northern Iowa in track and is expecting visits from coaches at Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida and Illinois in the coming week. He specializes in the sprints, particularly the 200 meters in which he clocked a personal best of 21.16 this past spring.
Although Harrington will no longer pursue college football opportunities, he still plans to play out his final high school season on the gridiron.
"This season I just wanted to come out and play football for one more year and help my team hopefully win a state championship," he said. "One thing about football that I really like is playing in the games because the fans are crazy. It's fun to play in that environment."
Cedar Falls first game of the season is this Friday against Hempstead. The 6-0, 170-pound Harrington starts at wide receiver and will also play some defensive back and return kickoffs for the Tigers.