State's Top 10 prospects: (No. 7) Technique puts Harvey on radar

Fred Harvey

Fred Harvey

At first, Fred Harvey didn't like football. Hated it, in fact.

As a fourth grader, he didn't see the point.

"We didn't have no pads on," Harvey said. "It's like the coaches had the pads, and we'd have to be running at them and they'd be knocking us down. It was no fun. It was hard. I was like, I don't want to do that anymore."

As a fifth grader, he gave it one more shot.

Some seven years later, Harvey is a 5-foot-11, 230-pound outside linebacker at White Station High School in Memphis with a bright future.

And Harvey, the News Sentinel's No. 7 prospect in the state, discovered another talent in the process - getting to the quarterback.

As a sophomore, Harvey recorded eight sacks. Last season, he dropped the quarterback 21 times. The difference, he says, was an increased focus on technique.

"After a while, it gets kind of easy," he said, pausing to chuckle. "If you start out going to the outside, they'll start cheating to the outside. When that happens, I just use a swim move on the inside. It gets kind of easy. After a while, I get unpredictable, and they get off balance."

And, often, the quarterback winds up on the ground for lost yards.

"I can't really put into words," Harvey said. "I feel out what the linemen are going to do and learn the right techniques to use."

Since last summer, he's been learning the recruiting process.

Entering his senior season, Harvey has scholarship offers from Alabama, Texas Tech, Middle Tennessee State and Stanford. He's also talked to coaches from Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida State and plenty of others, although he said he's yet to receive official scholarship offers from UT and the others.

Handling the recruiting process means developing a thick skin at times, as well as a sense of how the process works.

"You're just on their time," he said. "You've got to know what to pick up on and know who's telling you the truth."

Harvey says he's not concerned about committing before his senior season. Football offers some level of escape from the process, and he tries to focus on playing ball instead of trying to cater his game to something college coaches might want to see him do for the purpose of evaluation.

Harvey has no problem waiting to end the process until after his senior season ends. In fact, he hopes to earn an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Game, which often features prospects announcing their commitments during the TV broadcast.

"If I don't get into the game, then I'll probably commit right after the season, most likely," he said.

Just don't expect Harvey to follow the recent trend of waiting until after National Signing Day to announce his choice.

"I wouldn't want to do something like that," Harvey said. "I want to sign when everybody else signs. I want to know where I'm going and talk to the coaches and see what I need to be learning for when it's time to go to school. I wouldn't want to wait that long. I'd feel like I was missing out on something. It could be the difference between being redshirted and playing as a true freshman."

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 16

rdgshackelford writes:

hey ya hank. like a fellow king of the hill fan.

this guys seems like a talented player, and fits in with monte's smaller linebackers. however, how is this kid in coverage because that is a big part of monte's scheme. does anyone have this kid's 40 time because i want to know if he is all technique or a beast with a few moves

transplantiam writes:

Sounds like a decent prospect. If he's that good, there's nothing like a star sacker, and UT has put some pretty good 'backers in the NFL. If 'bama has already offered we need to at least try to keep him in our court. You never know, Kiffin's already pulled some "what should be great backs in Brown & Oku", so we need guys to be able to give the ball to the offense or it's just another losing cause.

stayingorange writes:

I like this series of articles. I'd like it more if UT was offering these in-state kids earlier. Seems like this is a year to set the posts on that fence and some of that has to be on UT's shoulders to prove it wants to keep the state's best. Just saying we're putting up a fence but not locking down the prospects won't keep these guys trusting the leaders.

And no, I don't think we should take every local boy, but we should have room for the state's top prospects.

CoachFulmer writes:

This guy is 5'11. I don't think he could see over the D-Line in order to stop the ball carrier. Let MTSU have him.

SPEAKS_THE_TRUTH writes:

bama offered early and first. they know linebackers and they have some of the best in the country. he only runs a 4.59 fourty but shows up in games.

MemphisVol writes:

this guy is the real deal, i go to several white station games a year and he has been a playmaker since he was a freshman. he's an al wilson type player. GET HIM!

rockytopman writes:

Come on guys, give this guy an offer, put up the fence.

Txvol57 writes:

in response to stayingorange:

I like this series of articles. I'd like it more if UT was offering these in-state kids earlier. Seems like this is a year to set the posts on that fence and some of that has to be on UT's shoulders to prove it wants to keep the state's best. Just saying we're putting up a fence but not locking down the prospects won't keep these guys trusting the leaders.

And no, I don't think we should take every local boy, but we should have room for the state's top prospects.

Just because it's the state of Tennessee's top prospects doesn't make him one of the best players in the country. Kiffin said in the beginning that he was going after the best in the country...if it happens to be a player in Tennessee then great!..i.e. Jac Smith, Eric Gordon and Teague...but dont waste a scholly on a kid just because he is rated as one of "Tennessee's" best prospects.

RaineyVol writes:

I live in memphis and I have seen this kid .. he is a beeeeaaasssttt!!!

golfballs03 writes:

I think we were hoping to get Maclin. An OLB would be nice

jgibson34 writes:

in response to rdgshackelford:

hey ya hank. like a fellow king of the hill fan.

this guys seems like a talented player, and fits in with monte's smaller linebackers. however, how is this kid in coverage because that is a big part of monte's scheme. does anyone have this kid's 40 time because i want to know if he is all technique or a beast with a few moves

Hey rdgshackelford, I believe we can allow CLK & staff to evaluate this young man's talent. Then go from there in
the process of offering a scholarship. Obviously his
technique will be perfected under the tutledge of
the great Monte Kiffin. Go Vols!

jgibson34 writes:

in response to SPEAKS_THE_TRUTH:

bama offered early and first. they know linebackers and they have some of the best in the country. he only runs a 4.59 fourty but shows up in games.

Just a thought, how many linebackers do you know that can run a 4.59 forty. If indeed he can run a 4.59, then lets offer this kid. This is exactly what we have been lacking the last few years (the ability to get to the quarterback). Go Vols!

Merv writes:

This fellow has a scholarship offer from Stanford? Grab it, young man! Take that education and run with it.

rdgshackelford writes:

in response to jgibson34:

Hey rdgshackelford, I believe we can allow CLK & staff to evaluate this young man's talent. Then go from there in
the process of offering a scholarship. Obviously his
technique will be perfected under the tutledge of
the great Monte Kiffin. Go Vols!

thanks for the advice; however i don't see where you were going with that. asking how good this kid is in coverage doesn't really interrupt kiff's evaluation of his talent. now if i could offer some advice in return, when someone asks a question, the proper response is to answer it, not leave a pointless sarcastic critique. i don't care what you think of the question, i just want it answered

stayingorange writes:

in response to Txvol57:

Just because it's the state of Tennessee's top prospects doesn't make him one of the best players in the country. Kiffin said in the beginning that he was going after the best in the country...if it happens to be a player in Tennessee then great!..i.e. Jac Smith, Eric Gordon and Teague...but dont waste a scholly on a kid just because he is rated as one of "Tennessee's" best prospects.

I agree with you to a point, but then don't go out talking about building a fence around the state if you're not going to follow through with offers to the best the state has to offer - it makes it look like a hollow offer and doesn't make future recruits comfortable.

I also question the national ratings of prospects and would like to think this coaching staff has the ability to turn talented players into the best in the country, especially if they come here loving the school and wanting to prove it.

Txvol57 writes:

in response to stayingorange:

I agree with you to a point, but then don't go out talking about building a fence around the state if you're not going to follow through with offers to the best the state has to offer - it makes it look like a hollow offer and doesn't make future recruits comfortable.

I also question the national ratings of prospects and would like to think this coaching staff has the ability to turn talented players into the best in the country, especially if they come here loving the school and wanting to prove it.

I agree with that but I believe Kiffin was talking about putting a fence up in Tennessee for the Nation's top players...Marlon Brown, Justin Maclin....those type of players. I mean lets be honest...Tennessee is not a hot bed of talent...other than Memphis. My point..is that Im all about putting a fence up around Tennessee..but only if they are one of the top players in the country as well. I see no point in offering a kid who might be in the top 10 in Tennessee but not in the top 500 in anything else.

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