June 09, 2016

AMES, Iowa (AP) One of Iowa State's best defensive players is leaving the team less than three months before the start of the season.

Senior linebacker Jordan Harris, a Mississippi native, announced Thursday that he intends to play his final season at a school closer to home as a graduate transfer. The departure is a big blow to the Cyclones defense, which ranked 97th in the country last season with 32.7 points allowed per game.

''Jordan has done everything we have asked him to do since the first day I got here,'' Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. ''He's a great person and a great teammate. In our meetings recently, Jordan expressed interest in finishing out his career closer to his family. I have the utmost respect for Jordan and we will fully support him in his decision.''

Harris played two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi. He sat out his first season at Iowa State as a redshirt before starting all 12 games in 2015. Harris had 70 tackles last season and was expected to anchor the middle of the defense.

''I am happy I got my degree from Iowa State, which will open up many more doors for me in the future. I want to finish out my final year where my family can be more involved,'' Harris said.

Iowa State opens next season on Sept. 3 when it hosts Northern Iowa.

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