Bobby La Gesse/Land of 10
Iowa DB signee Camron Harrell has some unique rituals.

Why Camron Harrell listens to Ray Lewis speeches before kickoff, Harrell’s love of the yo-you and more

The best way to start your day is right here at as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Thursday, March 2.

Why Camron Harrell is inspired by Ray Lewis

As the bus would approach the next high school on the schedule, Camron Harrell would whip out his cell phone.

He was after something inspirational to both lift him up and mentally prepare him for his upcoming football game. So he would open a web browser and start typing the same name each week.

Ray Lewis.

“The tenacity in his voice,” Harrell said. “He was just ready to roll all the time.”

Lewis is a captivating speaker; he can command a room like a preacher. The future Hall of Fame linebacker gave plenty of inspirational talks to his Baltimore Ravens teammates during his 17-year NFL career.

Harrell would seek out any speech from his favorite NFL defensive player because Lewis’ message always hit him in the heart.

“Basically, in all of his speeches he would say when the moment is there take your shot,” Harrell said. “Don’t miss the opportunity. If you do you won’t regret it.”

Harrell doesn’t. He twice led Bradley-Bourbannais (Ill.) to the playoffs, set the program record with 44 touchdowns and will head to Iowa this summer to play defensive back.

While accomplishing it all, he tried to be the secondary version of Lewis.

“I just wanted to hit anything,” Harrell said. “I saw him do it.”

More than just a football player

As a kid, Harrell watched his grandpa Mark bring out a yo-yo. He dazzled the 11-year-old Harrell with tricks.

Harrell became hell-bent on mastering the toy his grandpa played with. He went online and watched YouTube videos of yo-yo tricks.

“I thought that looked pretty cool,” Harrell said.

He practiced and practiced until he was confident enough to use it in front of his grandpa. Harrell tried to do his tricks on the sly, performing one here or there in his grandpa’s line of sight.

He never saw it, so Harrell yelled at his grandpa to watch and then he started doing tricks.

“He was like ‘I can do it better,’” Harrell said.

Harrell chuckles telling the story. Using a yo-yo is something Harrell still does around the house to this day.

“I don’t like to leave my house,” Harrell said. “I don’t like the outdoors unless I have a football in my hand or track shoes on my feet. Watching TV gets kind of boring. I just walk around with a yo-yo.”

Iowa-Wisconsin men’s basketball breakdown

When the Hawkeyes travel to the 22nd-ranked Badgers on Thursday night (9:05 p.m., ET, ESPN) it’s won’t be just another road game for Iowa. The basketball team’s slim hopes for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth likely hang in the balance.

If Iowa is to pull off the upset it will need a repeat performance from its Maryland win from last Saturday.

The Hawkeyes will also need to slow down Wisconsin’s big three players.

  • Ethan Happ, F, Sr. (14.1 points, 9.0 rebounds)

Happ is in the midst of a breakout season. He has scored at least 20 points in two of the last four games and five times since Jan. 21. Post players can give the Hawkeyes problems, so a big night from Happ could be an issue the Hawkeyes won’t be able to overcome.

  • Bronson Koenig, G, Sr. (13.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists)

Koenig can do a little bit of everything for the Badgers. He has 44 points in his last two games, including 27 points on 5-of-9 3-point shooting against Ohio State on Feb. 23. Iowa can’t afford to let him find his rhythm from deep.

  • Nigel Hayes, F, Sr. (13.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists)

First off, there is a chance Hayes may not play.

If he does play, Hayes can take over a game. He’s a lot like Happ in that regard. Iowa can’t afford for two of Wisconsin’s big three to get going. If they do, a win in the Kohl Center will be hard to come by.

Team KenPom Ranking Adjusted O Adjusted D
Iowa (16-13, 8-8 Big Ten) 71 113.2 (42nd) 102.7 (122nd)
Wisconsin (22-7, 11-5) 21 115.4 (34th) 93.6 (15th)

Unveiling Iowa’s March Madness

Land of 10 is out to name the Iowa best men’s basketball player ever. Your help is required to pick the winner. A 64-player bracket was put together and each day a new matchup will appear on the Land of 10 website. The first round involves four players with the two advancing to the second round. Readers will vote on which players move on.

Just like with political elections, the Breakfast Club is all about rocking the vote. So be sure to cast your ballot. The first matchup was posted on Wednesday and featured Ronnie Lester, Dave Gunther, Ed Horton and Jimmy Rodgers. Click here to vote.

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