Horne Joins Jantz at Iowa State
AMES, Iowa – Talk about your whirlwind courtships. Less than two weeks ago, City College of San Francisco wide receiver Aaron Horne was still deciding what road he was going to take to play college football. Then two weeks ago, he got a call in Oakland, Calif. from the Iowa State coaching staff. They were very interested in him and wanted him to come visit the Iowa State campus. That day.
“I got the call in the morning and I flew there that afternoon,” Horne said. “They offered me a scholarship and I accepted.”
This is not the way the process usually works. But Horne had an ace in the hole. His junior college quarterback, Steele Jantz, was already on the Iowa State campus.
“The Iowa State coaches had seen me when they came to see Steele,” Horne said. “Then Steele was my host on my visit.”
Horne was Jantz’s favorite target last season, making 51 receptions for 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns. CCSF had a great season, posting a 12-1 record, including a 52-15 rout over Fresno City College in the Hawaiian Punch Community College Bowl.
“He has the kind of speed that makes him a deep threat,” Jantz said. “Coaches talked to me about him and I told them that Aaron was a good player.”
Horne grew up in Oakland, Calif. He played football in Stockton, Calif. his freshman year but then transferred to Castlemont High School in Oakland, Calif. There he met up with his uncle, Robert Green, who was a football coach. But as a sophomore, Horne played basketball, not football.
“My uncle came to me after my sophomore year and told me that I could have a future playing college football,” Horne said. “So I played football my junior season and things took off after that.”
He was first-team all-city as a junior. His senior season he made the All-East Bay team, catching 36 passes for 536 yards and 21 touchdowns for Castlemont. Horne also had nine carries for 251 yards and five touchdowns. He also started on defense, recording 52 tackles, making four interceptions and forcing a fumble. Horne also forced a fumble.
Horne says playing cornerback made him a better wide receiver.
“I was making reads as a receiver and my experience on defense made that more effective,” Horne said. “You know what the other guy is thinking.”
Like Jantz, Horne came on strong as a sophomore.
After making five catches for 37 yards as a freshman CCSF, Horne blossomed as Jantz’s first look from scrimmage in 2010. He joined Jantz on the California Community College Football Coaches Association first-team All-America squad. In all, he tallied 1,740 all-purpose yards. Horne returned 19 kickoffs for 410 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown at San Jose. He returned eight punts for 154 yards.
Iowa State coaches first noticed Horne’s ability when watching him perform passing drills with Jantz.
“They were watching Steele closely and I happened to be one of the receivers he was throwing to,” Horne said. “The coaches also saw me play in the Fresno City game.”
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads said Horne’s junior college experience at CCSF will ease his transition.
“He has a unique relationship with (Jantz),” Rhoads said. “Being here for spring practice and having excelled in an offense that is similar to what we run here at Iowa State, Aaron has the talent to make a difference.”
NCAA signing day is Feb. 2. Spring practice starts March 22. The 2011 Iowa State spring football game is April 16 at 1 p.m. in Jack Trice Stadium.