Harvin Plays Like No. 1

Ever since he missed the SEC Championship Game against Alabama Percy Harvin has been on a mission; a mission to get healthy, a mission to be ready to play at a high level, and a mission to help his team win its third national championship.

Mission Accomplished!

Now the last time that phrase was used on a national stage it didn't turn out all that well, but there's no chance of that here. Florida's spectacular junior gave a career defining performance in the Gators' 24-14 win over Oklahoma. Harvin ran nine times for 122 yards and a touchdown and added 49 yards on five catches. Not bad for a guy who the rumor mill had suffering a setback just hours before kickoff at Joe Robbie Stadium (I don't care what they call it; to me it's still Joe Robbie).

Harvin's 171 yards of total offense brought his career totals to a remarkable 1,852 rushing and 1,929 receiving with 32 combined touchdowns. I spoke with Harvin on the field shortly after the BCS Title Game ended.

LV: Percy dealing with the ankle for a month, how were you able to play through it?

PH: I just had to play through it. I knew all week I wasn't going to be 100 percent. The trainers told me I was going to have a little bit of pain and soreness. With that said, I felt like I let my team down at the SEC Championship but they were able to pull it out without me. I knew I was going to be able to play in this game and be a factor to help my team win.

LV: How important was that first pass that you caught on the opening possession in terms of letting you feel comfortable and confident in your ability to play your game?

PH: Oh yeah, it was a slant and I had to cut on it. It was the first time I planted running that fast. After that play was over I knew I was going to be okay.

LV: How surprising was it to find yourself in a low scoring game? It was 14-7 after three quarters when a lot of people were expecting a shootout.

PH: It was not surprising. It happens sometimes. You can blow everybody out, and Oklahoma was in the national championship for a reason. We didn't expect it to be a blowout. We knew they had a great team and they had a great defensive scheme but we were able to make some adjustments and figure it out.

LV: What were those adjustments?

PH: They were blitzing outside trying to keep our speed between the tackles. What we did, we started to kick out the end and knifing in the middle and nobody was home.

LV: How will this result impact your decision about the NFL Draft?

PH: Not at all. I've said all along my main goal and total focus was on getting healthy for this game and helping my team win it. Now it's time to sit down with my family and my coaches and figure out my decision.


Florida receivers coach Billy Gonzales on Percy Harvin

"What a special player. He's just a warrior. To be able to come out and do what he did is amazing. To fight through the pain and fight through everything else he's gone through is really something. I'm just so proud of that young man, so excited and so happy for him."

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