Harvin trip update

How does a college football team replace a playmaker like Reggie Bush? The answer is an easy -- bring in Virginia Beach superstar wide receiver Percy Harvin (5-11, 185, 4.35). Ok, maybe it's a stretch to suggest Bush could be replaced so quickly and easily, but if you've viewed the latest Scout.com video highlights, you would probably agree Harvin is someone extra special.

Chris Beatty, Harvin,s coach at Landstown High, suggested in a phone conversation that there's strong possibility Harvin could be wearing Cardinal and Gold in 2006.

"I really don't want to speak for him, but he was very impressed with the visit," Beatty said. "I think it went about as well as could have been expected. When he got back from his visit he was sure smiling a lot.

"The USC offense is hard to overlook when you have 750 yards against a solid Pac-10 team. I don't want to say USC moved ahead of anyone, but I would definitely say they're in a very good position."

Visiting USC was an opportunity for Harvin and his family to educate themselves about the university, the coaching staff, players and Los Angeles.

"Getting a chance to see the city was important because Percy had never been to Los Angeles before, and he didn't realize USC was a private school," Beatty said. "He learned a lot about Los Angeles in general and got along well with the players who were there, not only the other guys they're recruiting, but Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Dwayne Jarrett, and all those guys. He had a really good time during his visit."

USC's national recruiting machine is spearheaded by Lane Kiffin (offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator) and Todd McNair (running backs). Both have formed solid relationships with the out-of-state prospects they've recruited, but lately, with Kiffin spending the majority of his time coordinating the lethal USC offense, McNair has become a star recruiter--possibly the top recruiter in the country.

If the Trojans sign Harvin, his relationship with McNair could be the difference maker.

"He told me from the start, call me T-Mac," Harvin said. "He is real cool and down to earth. He's not like the other coaches who exaggerate about my potential playing time or how good I am. Coach McNair didn't guarantee me anything and said I will compete with everyone else. The best players play at USC."

Coach Beatty added this about McNair.

"Percy likes coach (McNair) a lot," he said. "Percy thinks he does a great job recruiting him. He can relate to coach because they have similar backgrounds and he's easy to relate to."

Since Harvin has been compared to Bush, it's fair to ask if the Trojans plan to use Harvin as they do Bush.

"He would primarily step in where Steve Smith is playing and would have an opportunity to step in if he was to go pro," Beatty said. "They've (Trojans) also talked about Percy stepping in for Reggie Bush and returning punts and kickoffs."

Does that mean he won't run the ball if he ends up at USC?

"They haven't talked to me about lining up Percy at running back and he's never mentioned it to me either, but that doesn't mean they haven't talked to him about doing that."

Harvin said in May he liked the Florida spread offense because Landstown runs the same offense. Familiarity is comforting and there were also aspects of the Trojan football program that seemed familiar.

"He talked about how they prepare and how the players get each other pumped about the game," Beatty said. "He really liked the pre-game stuff and he talked about how together and relaxed they were. It's a lot like we are here (Landstown High) and he likes that."

There are three remaining visits on Harvin's schedule: Michigan (Nov. 19), Miami and Florida State.

For the season Harvin has 52 receptions for 955 yards and 27 touchdowns.


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