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Miami Hurricanes 2021 Player Profile: Defensive End Jahfari Harvey

Harvey has progressed from redshirt to role player, will he be a key contributor in ‘21?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Bethune-Cookman at Miami Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jahfari Harvey is a six-foot-four, 252 pound defensive end on the Miami Hurricanes. Harvey, a redshirt freshman per the team site, is a former consensus four-star prospect from Vero Beach High School in Florida.

In 2019, Harvey played in four games making one tackle and proceeded to use his redshirt. Harvey became a rotational defensive end in year two with the ‘Canes. Last season he saw action in 10 games including one start.

Harvey also saw a significant jump in snaps per game in 2020. In a backup role behind Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche, Harvey logged 18 tackles, five tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. In Harvey’s lone start against Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl, he logged three tackles, 1.5 TFL’s, a sack and a forced fumble.

Harvey versus Duke

While he didn’t start agains the Duke Blue Devils, Harvey got a ton of snaps and was very productive logging two tackles and tackle for loss and multiple hurries, pressures, and knockdowns on the QB. This is the game we’ll use to break down Harvey’s performance in 2020. It’s a limited sample but there are 18 snaps I will use to look into his technique and physical ability. Let’s break down each phase of his game quickly, then the entire tape below.

Pass rush

Harvey started the game using no pass rush at all. He had a few snaps in a row of just running into and engaging the offensive tackle (OT) that you’ll see on the full clip. Once he uses a move (he goes with an all-timer of the slap down of the hands on the OT) he starts to really get penetration.

On the bottom row you can see Phillips who uses an arsenal of pass rush moves. Phillips is a big fan of the outside-in technique as most OT’s are taught to kick slide wide and outside and the kick slide method leaves the inside open, which is where QB’s are most vulnerable. Later, Phillips slides in to DT and uses a swim move on the Duke guard.

The bull rush is a much better change of pace move than a go-to at the college level. Overpowering a college tackle isn’t easy at 250 pounds. After some hard outside moves a bull rush is a great way to catch an OT off guard.

Point of attack

At the point of attack, Harvey also lets the OT engage him. He’s constantly getting swallowed up and engaged which is counter intuitive to 1- making plays and 2- being a “havoc player” in Manny Diaz’s defensive scheme.

Remember, in my piece titled, “What college coaches look for in a defensive lineman,” or G5 recruiter wanted strength at the point of attack as his 2nd priority for ends, and our P5 assistant coach wanted “LENGTH!” If you have long arms and don’t use them, well, do you really have length at the position?

Back side of run

Not exactly ‘mesh charge’ but I like that Harvey doesn’t chase the tackle on Dart (offensive tackle pulls and the QB reads the DE. If the DE chases the OT, the Q will pull and run). Harvey does a great job of hawking down a few runs away by forcing a give and then using his elite physical abilities to get to the ball carrier.

The Tape

There is a full chart ABOVE of the 18 snaps that you can see BELOW of Harvey against Duke in 2020.

Final verdict

If Harvey learns a couple of pass rush moves, uses his hands more, and uses his long arms to keep offensive tackles from pulling him in to engage- he’ll have one hell of a year. I’m banking that Jess Simpson will refine Harvey’s game where Todd Stroud could not. Simpson is a major upgrade over Stroud as a position coach and it’s going to show with Harvey in ‘21.

2021 season prediction: 40+ tackles, 10+ tackles for loss, 5+ sacks.