Top Florida WR Mike Harley Jr Announces Commitment To West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Florida receiver Mike Harley has committed to West Virginia, giving the Mountaineers their seventh verbal of the 2017 class.

WHAT TO LIKE

Harley, a 5-10, 170-pounder out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is a solid route runner who attacks playing the position with a steady, workmanlike effort. He's in and out of breaks effectively, and has been pegged as a "slippery" receiver who is difficult to stay with because of his cuts and quickness. Harley also manages to get good separation against defenders, and utilizes space well in freeing and making himself available. He also high points the ball well, and has the lanky frame and long arms of some other receives like Jovon Durante. 

Harley gets his head around after the break and locates the ball effectively. He also catches it out in front of his body and gets it quickly back into his frame for protection. His actual carrying of the ball could be higher and tighter, but his strong hands help him secure the initial catch. He's also very difficult to cover one-on-one, and won't hesitate to use slight shoves or other subtle body movements to gain space away from defenders. A competitor, Harley wants to win not just each series, but each snap, and understands how to play the slot position. He isn't an overall burner, but a very good possession receiver with some ability to stretch the field. This is a very solid addition for West Virginia, especially from an established program like St. Thomas Aquinas. 

Harley is the third receiver to verbal to the Mountaineers for the 2027 class, joining Alec Sinkfield and Tevin Bush. All three are Scout.com three-star prospects. 

POSSIBLE CONCERNS

Harley's frame would indicate he will have difficulty adding a ton of weight. As long as he maximizes his strength, Harley will be fine, but it'll be interesting to see how he responds to the physical challenge of some defenders. Harley could be susceptible to press coverage, and getting a good release off the line might cause concern. He also needs to carry the ball a bit tighter after the catch, and could have issues getting stripped when taking contact.

Harley's ability to play a ton of snaps a game is questionable, and how effective he can be blocking downfield - an aspect of increasingly greater value to WVU as it leans more on the running game - is an aspect to watch as he progresses at the collegiate level. He would appear to need at least a season or two in the weight room to reach his max potential at this level, though his ability to see time quickly can't be questioned. Harley has the physical tools and talent to have a chance to break into a solid wide receiving corps that continues to build depth for the Mountaineers.

http://www.scout.com/player/199406-michael-harley/

OVERALL ANALYSIS

This is an excellent pick-up by West Virginia, as it beat out programs like Mississippi State, Miami, Louisville, Missouri, Wisconsin, Washington State and South Carolina, among others. Ultimately, Harley's decision came down to Michigan and WVU, and any time you're competing against the likes of those storied schools and winning, you're likely getting a solid player. Harley will obviously contribute to the depth - again, he's already the third wideout in this class - and he brings some quick twitch abilities to the slot position. This is a player with a decent upside, and one whose current talents are enough to allow him to contribute quickly at West Virginia.

Class of 2017 WVU Football Verbal Commit List


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