That was the case for Jalen Harvey, who had long had West Virginia atop his list of potential college destinations. The big defensive lineman, who has helped lead his Northwest Mississippi squad to a 4-0 record, had told his father that he liked WVU the best for a good while. After the Mountaineers' win over BYU on Saturday, Harvey was talking to his father again, when the parental push came.
"My dad liked WVU the best, and he was asking me what I was waiting on," said Harvey, a run-stuffer who will be counted on to provide immediate help in 2017. "I knew I liked them the best, and when my Dad kept asking me that got me thinking. After watching the [BYU] game, I was seeing how they were playing and thinking about what I would be doing and how I would fit in next year, and it all came together."
Harvey will help bolster a line that has a big gap between its three senior starters and most of the rest of the group. Jon Lewis will be a senior in 2017, but past that it's a very young, inexperienced position. Adam Shuler and Alec Shriner are getting some of that this season, but there's need for much more, and Harvey hopes to fit right in.
This won't be Harvey's first Division I experience. He signed with and enrolled at Syracuse for the 2014 season, but transferred in December after becoming homesick and finding himself a bit overwhelmed by the experience.
"I had never been away from home before. I had never been away from my family before; I hadn't even seen snow before," the Alabama native said. "Nothing bad happened to me there, but the team was losing and it just was not a good situation for me. I didn't like the way things were going."
Harvey left Syracuse and enrolled at Northwest Mississippi, which was closer and in a more familiar environment. Now, two years later he's ready to step out again. He knows that questions will be asked -- if Syracuse was too far, won't West Virginia have the same issues? He met those questions head on.
"I feel like I have matured," he said . "At the time I left I was 18, and I had never been away, Now I'm 20, and I feel like I am ready. I have been in Mississippi on my own for two years, and I'm prepared to do it."
If there are questions about assimilation off the field, there shouldn't be any on it, at least in terms of his performance and potential to date. He's anchoring the middle of the line for Northwest Mississippi, which is off to a 4-0 start and faces Holmes CC on Thursday in a showdown for the the conference lead.
"I feel like I am a run stopper. My pass rush needs some work, but I feel like the coaches there can help me develop," Harvey said. "We haven't talked about a position yet, but I am pretty sure I will be a nose. That's what I play here."