FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Jalen Embry Chooses To Stay In the Black and Gold With Iowa Commitment
One of the top uncommitted players in the class of 2014 in Michigan is off the board now.
Detroit Martin Luther King senior defensive back Jalen Embry has given a verbal commitment to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The 6-0, 182-pound Embry turned down scholarship offers from the likes of Wisconsin, Toledo, Western Michigan, Cincinnati and a handful of other schools, to remain in black and gold.
"I chose Iowa for various reasons," Embry said. "For one, the coaches there remind me a lot of my coaches at King, as far as coach Ferentz and coach Parker goes."
"I can see a lot of my coaching staff now in them," Embry added. "They always kept it real, and upfront with me as far as the good and the bad."
Embry’s stock began to rise after his junior year, and schools from all over the midwest began to offer him. The two offers Embry really wanted in Michigan and Michigan State didn’t come though, but he says he is happy still with his decision to play for Iowa.
"To be honest, I was waiting to see if Michigan, or Michigan State would offer, and they didn’t," he said. "But I just put it in my head that I was going to stay humble, and focused." "But once I get to Iowa, and we play those guys, it’s going to be a battle."
Academics and early playing time also played a factor in Embry’s decision, and his visit to Iowa City over the weekend sealed the deal for him.
"The visit was great my second time around getting to see everything," Embry said. "Iowa City is like Michigan on game day. Everyone is all about football there, and they all knew who I was."
Embry said he built a really close relationship with his recruiter at Iowa, defensive backs coach Phil Parker, and that he reminded him a lot of one of the assistants at King, Terel Patrick.
"Me and coach Parker have that relationship where we go back and forth, and he fusses a lot," Embry said. "But that’s his way of getting me to understand life, and the game even more. He’s one of the coaches who had the most contact with me."
Iowa is getting a steal in Embry, who consistently performed well on the camp circuit over the summer, and is having another productive season. Through five games, Embry has 14 tackles, three pass deflections, to go along with an interception. Schools also recruited him on the offensive side of the ball, and he has recorded 18 receptions for 413 yards, and five touchdowns this season at wide receiver. Iowa also invaded Michigan in 2013, coming in and signing former Detroit East English Village Prep standout Desmond King. Embry and King are good friends, and have already built a close relationship as future teammates at Iowa.
"Desmond is like a big brother to me, and he always keeps me positive," Embry said of King. "He actually had an accident, so I had to meet with another host during my visit, but he told me he appreciated me committing, and that he’d hold it down until I got there."
Now that Embry doesn’t have to worry about where he’ll play the next four years of his life, he says that his main focus right now is academics, and the remainder of the season.
"I’m glad I got the weight of this recruiting stuff off my shoulders, and now I can focus on academics and the rest of the season," he said. "I really want to help my team get a state title since it’s my last year."
Nothing is final in the world of recruiting until players sign their letter of intent in February, but Embry sounded sure of his decision, and looks to honor it when signing day arrives. "A commitment is like your life," he said. "I’m committed to Iowa, and that’s where I’m staying right now."