A conversation with dynamic WR Percy Harvin

Florida's dynamic wide receiver Percy Harvin would make a lot of sense for the Jets at 17. Here is a conversation with Harvin where he talks about his durability, route-running, off-the-field issues in high school and so much more . . .

Q)You have been compared to Reggie Bush. What do you think of that comparision?

Harvin: Both of us are used to create mismatches on the other team. You get the ball and can cut back across the field. A lot of the similarities are because we're both explosive on the open field.

Q)Are you more of a running back or wide receiver?

Harvin: I see myself as a pure receiver who can go in the slot. I can do the screens, the reverses, stuff like that.

Q)Was playing running back a big reason you got hurt a few times in college?

Harvin: A lot of those injuries came from running back, where I was averaging 15 or 20 carries a game as a receiver, so a lot of those nicks and knacks came from that.

Q)How did your medical tests go with NFL teams?

Harvin: I had to do a lot of MRI tests on my ankle. I had a fracture and the heel surgery. It went good and everything is clear.

Q)What do you think of all the questions about your durability?

Harvin: A lot of it came, when I was in high school I had a heel injury that I didn't know about, they called it a Haglund's deformity. (inflammation of the bursa sac that typically leads to bursitis). I was basically tearing the bone away from my heel for a long time. A lot of people called it tendonitis. For years I was tearing the bone away from the heel and when I got to college it finally caught up with me. A lot of my injuries were due to that. Before my senior year I got it fixed and I didn't have any problems with it last year. I feel real good right now.

Q)With all the work you did as a running back, how good are you are a route-runner?

Harvin: I ran a lot of digs and posts, but as the season went on I didn't get to run a lot of them. A lot of our games were blowouts or they needed me to run the ball. I've done it many times in practice so I don't think it'll be hard transition for me.

I've been working on that. On my pro day, when the coaches come to see my run my routes, they're going to see that.

Q)How similar to Coach Meyer to Bill Belichick?

Harvin: Coach Meyer tries to imitate him to a T. A lot of the things we did were coach Meyer imitating him. He came down and talked to us a couple times. He was a real inspiration to our team.

He's been an inspiration to me. I've talked to him several times and think highly of him. He's talked to me and told me what I need to work on. I think the world of him.

Q)Who are you similar to as a player?

Harvin: A lot of people, of course, Reggie Bush has popped up, but a lot of people compare me to Steve Smith. I'm a little bigger than him, but just as explosive in the open field and have a knack to make big plays.

Q)Are you the most explosive receiver in the draft?

Harvin: Yes. If I can get the ball in the open field I can make a lot of things happen and make big plays.

Q)Did teams ask you about some of the off-the-field stuff?

Harvin: A lot of my issues teams want to know are my off the field issues. The questions we cleared them up. The interviews went real good, and they were real interested.

Q)What kind of off-the-field issues came up?

Harvin: Just a lot of stuff that I dealt with in high school, I was suspended a couple of times from games and had a few unsportsmanlike conduct stuff. Just things that haunted me from my past. A lot of those questions I answered them and they kind of blew over. It was a lot of stories out there they just wanted to hear from the horses' mouth. After that we talked football.

Q)The Dolphins seem very interested in you . . .

Harvin: I talked to them yesterday. They showed a lot of interest. After the Pro Day they wanted to sit down and bring me up and sit down to have another interview, get familiar with the Stadium and talk to the coaches....When I talked to the coaches they didn't talk specifically about what I'd play. They just would send me in open field, and told me I was very explosive and would play a lot of positions in the league.

Q)How did playing at such a great program prepare you for the next level?

Harvin: We have a lot of talent. We have a lot of speed, a lot of playmakers. At Florida you are taught that if you don't make the plays, there is someone that is going to step in and make the plays for you. Just being around a lot of playmakers throughout my life it shows you that you want to take advantage of every opportunity you can to showcase your talent.

Q)What are you like going over the middle considering you aren't the biggest guy?

Harvin: I'm a fearless person. A lot of my injuries came because I'm going to sacrifice my body. I'm not scared of linebackers. I don't fear safeties. A lot of times me throwing my body out there is where I got banged up a lot. I have no problem going across the middle and that's the advantage I have. I'm pretty much a fearless player.

Q)Do you wish Coach Meyer had let you play more receiver and less running back at Florida?

Harvin: Definitely. A lot of times I got frustrated and sat there with coach [Urban] Meyer, we had a few talks about it. But at the same time I was willing to do whatever it took to win. At the time we didn't have a lot of running backs to carry the ball, so I had to do a lot of their role. At one time I was averaging 15 to 20 carries. I had as many carries as catches. I would definitely like to have done it [run more routes], but we needed a running back so I did that.


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