Per CuseNation.com‚Äôs Mike McAllister, the Orange offered defensive tackle Jalen Harvey¬†Sunday¬†despite his recruitment shuffles in recent weeks. The Pinson, Ala. product plans to join nine other prospects on the Syracuse campus January 31¬†for a visit.
From the start, Harvey was committed to South Alabama, but flipped his school of choice to WKU as of January 19. He officially visited Western Kentucky as well as Boise State on the 17. Now with SU in on his services in the last 24 hours, Harvey couldn‚Äôt help admitting he was ‚Äúsurprised‚Äù and ‚Äúexcited.‚Äù
Evidence proves Harvey is a bit of an undecided recruit. However, this time around could be for real. The 6‚Äô2‚Äù, 305-kb defensive tackle is on record saying his recruitment is shut down.¬†Harvey told AL.com on January 20th his decision to pledge with the Hilltoppers is set and stone:
¬†”I am going to go ahead and call it quits and sign with Western Kentucky. They got happy and actually Coach Holt (WKU defensive coordinator) kissed me on the head when I said I wanted to commit to Western Kentucky. I just feel that Western Kentucky was that best place for me to go play college football.”
Just a week and a half remains until National Signing Day, so it‚Äôs no surprise Harvey attempts to show some certainty during the stretch run. Obviously Syracuse just offered him yesterday so he needs some time to soak in the information.¬†Depth at tackle on both sides of the ball needs to be a top priority for the Orange¬†next season. Harvey was selected to the 2013 Birmingham News All-Metro football team and finished his senior stint at Clay-Chalkville HS with 61 tackles (10.5 tackles for losses) and three sacks.
Watch DT Jalen Harvey‚Äôs highlights here:¬†http://www.hudl.com/athlete/
With¬†opportunities for immediate playing time¬†and the program‚Äôs appreciation for underrated talents, Harvey fits the mold to join the 2014 class. He provides bulging size similar to another ‚Äô14 recruit, Zeek Rodney, and strongly resembles a member of last year‚Äôs recruiting class:¬†offensive line pickup Alexander Hayes. The ‚ÄòBama resident Harvey has the make-up¬†to help Tim Daoust build a strong defensive line¬†as a true leader in Jay Bromley departs.
Late, last-minute offers to players such as Harvey may continue to fly in from the Orange. Shafer and company are trying to take the next step in the ACC from being just good to great. So from South Alabama to Western Kentucky, don‚Äôt sleep on Harvey. A decent pitch from Syracuse probably has him pondering, “Now what?”