ISU Commit Analysis: Willie Harvey

The Cyclones picked up commit No. 25 Monday night in Willie Harvey. Head inside as we break down what the outside linebacker brings to the Cyclones. For example: "Playing both inside and outside linebacker this season, Harvey is very good at blitzing between the tackles or off the edge"

St. Augustine (FL) Menendez 2014 outside linebacker Willie Harvey has committed to Iowa State, his coach, Patrick Turner, tells

Harvey was in Ames over the weekend for an official visit with his mother and wanted to return to Florida to talk things over with his father before deciding to commit to Iowa State on Monday afternoon. Harvey had been committed to Southern Miss.

"It happened unexpectedly," Harvey said a few weeks ago of his offer. "I knew they were recruiting me a little but when I found out they had offered I felt honored."

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Harvey also had offers from Marshall, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan and could play either Mike or Will linebacker in college — depending on how much weight he adds.

Harvey's commitment brings the Cyclones to 25 verbals for the 2014 recruiting class with National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Counting Sam Seonbuchner and Reggan Northrup, ISU will sign three high school linebackers.

Below is Recruiting Analyst Patrick Burnham's tape evaluation of Harvey:

What to Like

Willie Harvey is a physical, downhill linebacker with above average speed and athletic ability based off his senior highlight tape. The 6-foot-1 and 215-pound senior runs very well and has good feet and change of direction. Harvey is a good tackler who shows natural instincts in finding the ball carrier and getting to the ball quickly. He hustles and pursues the ball with relentless effort and is a sure-tackler. Playing both inside and outside linebacker this season, Harvey is very good at blitzing between the tackles or off the edge. He also displays good athleticism while sometimes lining up at wide receiver on offense and as a secondary return man on kickoffs.

Development and Improvement

There are a couple of questions on Harvey, the first one being where does he play in college, as middle or outside linebacker? He will have to add weight to play in college to be a "Mike" linebacker. Does he have the coverage skills to play "Will" linebacker in college? This is an unknown because you don't see him cover a lot of guys in space on his highlight tape. One area you would like to see him continue to improve in is taking on blocks. At times he has a tendency to run around or under blocks which he can get away in high school but will not be able to in college. Harvey will also need to get better at using his hands to create separation in getting off of blocks.


Based off his highlight tape I think that Harvey has been under recruited. Florida came in late in the season and showed interest in Harvey who made a unofficial visit to Gainesville this past November. Iowa State also got involved late in the process. Harvey shows himself to be a good tackler. I believe that Harvey could play either "Mike" or "Will" linebacker in college. He is athletic enough to be an every down middle linebacker and is thick enough and has the frame to add more weight. On film he also displayed the athleticism and speed to be able to play the "Will" linebacker position although there are still some questions on his ability to cover inside receivers at the college level. Harvey does show good instincts, reads his keys well and is a tough, sure-tackler as evidenced by his 131 during his senior season. publisher Trey Scott contributed to this report.

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