Beyond the Commitment: Jalen Harvey

Jalen Harvey has four brothers and a mom who's nachos were just too good to leave, but those aren't the only reasons why he decided to choose to commit to the Bears on Tuesday.


Jalen Harvey loves nachos. Whether he's riding a wave of euphoria, or whether he's a bit down in the dumps, his mother's nachos always hit the spot. Now, he'll get to have them just about whenever he wants, as the three-star El Cerrito (Calif.) wide receiver called the California coaching staff on Tuesday night to tell them that he wanted to be a Bear.

"I just want to stay home," Harvey says, doing his best to channel his inner Jabari Bird. "I really want to stay home. My roots are here. I don't mind going somewhere else far, like L.A. or Arizona, but these are my roots. This is where everyone knows me. This is where my family is."

With four brothers -- one younger -- Harvey will now get to play the next four or five years in front of them.

"It's going to be awesome," Harvey says. "I'm going to have tons of family at the games."

Harvey was so excited about finally making his pledge that he said, "I can't even think right now," and truthfully, that was the reaction he got when he told the Cal coaching staff of his decision.

"It made their day," Harvey says. "Coach Likens was about to go to a softball game, and when I told him that I had some great news, he said, 'Let me hear it.' I told him, 'I'm official,' and he was screaming into the phone, saying, 'You just made my day! Woohoo!' And it was the same with coach Dykes."

Clearly, the energetic Cal staff is just as excited as Harvey, who became the first offensive player to commit to the Bears this cycle, following the early commitment of Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame safety Koa Farmer.

Now, Harvey gets a chance to work on his fellow Gauchos -- Adarius Pickett and D.J. Calhoun -- both of whom are at the top of the Bears' wish list on defense.

"I'm still going to talk to my teammates about coming to Cal, but at the end of the day, everybody's their own man," Harvey said. "I'll say a few words here and there, but I can't make them commit to a school they don't want to come to."

Following Harvey's commitment, Pickett said, simply, "Wow."

Calhoun was a bit more measured, saying, "I am happy for him. It is a good fit for him. Cal is a great school."

"It's not just friends, but people that know of me," Harvey says, about what his commitment can do to swell the ranks of the 2014 class. "If they hear that I'm going to Cal, they might want to play with me."

After scoring 20 touchdowns last season, there's no mistaking that Harvey certainly has just the right amount of wide receiver bravado. Where does he fit in the new offense?

"All around, honestly," Harvey says. "Everything. Honestly, if I get the ball in my hands, and say, it's fourth-and-20, I'm going to get the yards for you. I'm really greedy. I get those scrappy yards. I don't mind going up and getting it, but at the same time, I'm more of a bully ball, like Anquan Bolden."

After the Bears offered Harvey during Junior Day, Oregon came in and made a push to bring him up to Eugene, but as a defensive back, but the difference in positions didn't make much of an impact.

"A lot of coaches didn't say whether their scholarships were defense or offense - really more as an athlete," Harvey says. "I told every single one of them: I'm a playmaker. I don't mind making plays for the team. If we don't get the W, we don't get it. That's it." Top Stories