By Miami’s standards, the Canes’ 2019 recruiting class was feeble, however, the class still has some potential gems. Defensive end Jahfari Harvey could end up being one of the jewels of the 2019 class, as the consensus four-star looks to be the next great defensive end at Miami.
The 6’4”, 240 lb DE hails from Port St. Lucie, FL, and he graduated from Vero Beach Senior High, before becoming the first player to officially sign as a member of UM’s 2019 class. Rivals ranked Harvey as the 25th best player in the 2018 class that came from Florida, while 247Sports placed him as the 14th best DE in his class. Harvey had an impressive and meteoric rise up Rivals.com rankings, as he went from being unranked in August, to the 187th best prospect in his class in December.
Harvey helped lead Vero Beach to the 8A regional semifinal last year, after he finished the season with 85 tackles, 18.5 TFL, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and 7.5 sacks.
As our very own Cam Underwood pointed out in his recruiting notebook, Harvey put up those stats against some of the biggest and best programs in the state, so those aren’t empty numbers. Harvey has proven he can load up the stat sheet while playing against very talented competition.
Harvey’s strengths include his athleticism and his ability to rush the passer, as well as possessing a great motor and first step. These skills were evident when you look at the sheer number of tackles for loss and sacks that he collected in his senior year. He was a little light on weight when he first signed with Miami, but he has since gotten up to 240 lbs, which is a nice start for a player intent on playing a decent amount of snaps this year.
The DE chose Miami despite offers from schools such as Georgia, Michigan, and Oregon, and as Cam mentioned, his commitment to Miami never faltered. He never left despite Manny Diaz leaving for Temple, and the fact that Miami was enduring a rocky 7-6 season.
Miami’s defensive coaches have had nothing but praise for Harvey since he’s stepped foot on campus. Defensive line coach Todd Stroud described Harvey as “exceptional.” Stroud would elaborate on Harvey, “He’s certainly the right guy to step in and play that position and carry the torch at some point.”
Defensive coordinator Blake Baker added, “He’s going to be a problem...whenever he can, playing confidently knowing what to do every snap. He’s a physical kid [and] doesn’t blink to put his face in the fan.’’
Finally, UM’s Co-DC and Safeties Coach Ephraim Banda had this to say about Harvey: “I talked to coaches during the recruiting process. They [would] come to see him and say, ‘Have you seen that D-end from Vero?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, he’s committed to us.’ They’re like, ‘Dang, he’s going to kill every tackle in our conference.’’’
As you can probably tell, Harvey is thought highly of already, as the early enrollee seems to have made his mark early on in his Miami career. With Jonathan Garvin and Trevon Hill entrenched at the top of the depth chart, and Greg Rousseau and Scott Patchan not far behind, it will be a bit of a struggle for Harvey to get a lot of playing time early on in his tenure. However, he has a chance to be a part of Miami’s d-line rotation as soon as this season, and of course could earn more playing time as the season goes along.
Quotes from Miami coaches courtesy of the Miami Herald