Saintly Strong

In his weekly column, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with Shiloh Christian junior-to-be defensive tackle Samuel Harvill (6-1, 256), one of the state's top 2011 grid prospects. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free, as is an offer to attend a Razorback game. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.




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It is not true that when the Boogeyman goes to sleep at night, he checks his closet for Samuel Harvill.

It's also not accurate that outerspace exists simply because it refuses to be on the same planet as young Mr. Harvill.

And no, it is not correct that the Shiloh Christian junior-to-be defensive tackle doesn't read books and instead just stares them down to get the information he wants.

But what is true about Harvill (6-1, 256, 4.86) is that he bench pressed 185 pounds a whopping 65 times on Saturday morning at the Southwest Elite Football Combine in Springdale.

Let that set in – 65 times in a row he benched pressed 185 pounds – a feat that exceeded his U.S. Army All-American Combine record-setting 55 times back in January.

"My goal was 60," Harvill said. "I was pretty happy with that because I broke my record at 185. It's just something I have been training for forever since I was about 12-and-a-half. I have been working hard at it ever since. It's what I am really good at and it helps on the field."

Indeed Harvill – who set the world record for ages 14 and 15 with a 500 max bench press - came on the scene as a ridiculous strong junior high weightlifter, but now is also a bonafide college football prospect.

He had 96 tackles, 16 sacks, 25 tackles for losses, 3 forced fumbles and 3 recovered fumbles while being named the state's sophomore defensive player of the year by one publication.

That was after a freshman high school season in which he had 78 tackles, 17 tackles for losses and an interception.

"Especially at D-line, strength is a big factor," Harvill said. "it really helps you out…My freshmen year is was really all about strength and going out there and trying to kill someone, but last year I learned how to get the athleticism in with the strength. The hand techniques and all that. I got that figured out last year."

He already has offers from UNLV and SMU and Auburn and Arkansas are among schools known to be very interested.

"Auburn is pretty close to offering me, I am pretty sure about that," Harvill said. "(Former Arkansas high school and college coach and current Auburn assistant) Gus (Malzahn) is pretty interested in me and the D-line coach down there and Arkansas with (assistant) Coach (Bobby) Allen is, too. That's two I know that are pretty interested in me now."

Harvill, junior quarterback Kiehl Frazier and offensive lineman Travis Bodenstein all went to junior days at Auburn and Arkansas.

He also took in some spring practices at Arkansas.

"I think they are going to be pretty good this year," Harvill said of the Razorbacks. "They got a lot of good recruits in…I think they are going to be pretty good this year and I think they have a good coaching staff. I really like Coach Allen, the D-line coach. He sticks out to me the most of all of them."

Harvill plans to attend camps at Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Auburn and possibly Oklahoma.

Shiloh went 13-1 and won the Class 4A state title last season, but it was a season-opening 47-9 loss to Shreveport Evangel that has spurred the Saints on during the offseason.

They've even given the Sept. 4 rematch at Shiloh the motto of "Road to Redemption."

"It's what we are all focused on right now," Harvill said.





Samuel Harvill







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