With Koa Farmer having made his commitment mid-way through last season, there has been quite the lull on the recruiting front since then - the Bears have gone several months without adding a new name to the 2014 class.
When better to end the drought then now, with wide receiver Jalen Harvey?
El Cerrito, Calif., recruit Jalen Harvey has committed to #Cal— Adam Gorney (@adamgorney) April 17, 2013
Teammates Adarius Pickett and DJ Calhoun obviously remain in the picture, but you would have to think that this helps their chances of joining him, since they've talked a little about all playing together. I guess our wide receivers coach Likens this addition a lot. [Horrible pun? Sue me.]
Rivals: 3 star, 60th ranked WR
247: 4 star (95), 9th ranked WR
ESPN: Unranked [Before anyone panics, this is more than likely due to the fact that they have not updated anything about him yet, rather than any statement of his actual talent level.]
Scout: 3 star, 57th ranked WR
I don't watch tape until players commit, so what follows below is my first impression.
At 6'0, 180, Harvey already has a decent sized frame - that weight actually makes him heavier than both Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs already, but as the video shows, he is no less shifty or athletic. Obviously there's still an entire senior season to go, but a look at Jalen Harvey's junior highlights shows a player who will work quite well in the Bear Raid's scheme. More than anything, the Bear Raid wants those that can succeed in space, and Harvey has the ability to do that, cutting and juking away from hapless defenders throughout. The spin move here at 2:13 is particularly nasty, and it's followed by him coming all the way back to the opposite side of the field to score. The punt return that follows after that might be even better.
Beyond his moves in the open field, though, Harvey puts on an athletic showcase overall, at one point climbing the ladder to make a ridiculous one handed snag. For impatient viewers, it's the very first play in the video - but many other leaping grabs accompany it. The kid knows how to go up and get the football - no doubt about that.
He's also a very willing - and capable - blocker, which is an underrated trait for a receiver. It's one thing to block your man out of the play. It's another to flatten him entirely, which is what you'll see in these clips.
While Harvey will be coming to Cal to play offense, he is no slouch on the defensive side of the ball either, displaying a great closing speed and nose for the ball there. A couple times, he outright steals the pitch in the backfield, and he hits with a fury, too. [Perhaps special teams could be in his future?]
There's much to like about Harvey - he's a local kid, so this is already proof of Dykes' commitment to keeping Bay Area talent at home, and perhaps more importantly, he looks like he's much better than his 3 star ranking.