Jalen Harvey scouting report: Top wide receiver prospect

Student Sports

Consensus three-star recruit Jalen Harvey joins Sonny Dykes' passing attack at Cal after turning down opportunities to join over half of the other schools in the Pac-12.

El Cerrito (Calif.) Senior High School wide receiver Jalen Harvey is a three-star recruit with multiple Pac-12 offers. Harvey measures at 6'1" and weighs 175 pounds. Harvey is ranked overall as the 85th best prospect by 247 Sports, which gives him a solid four stars; he's pegged as the ninth best wide receiver and the ninth best recruit in the state of California. Harvey is a three-star prospect according to Scout and is ranked as the 57th best wide receiver. Rivals gives the same star ranking, placing him 60th overall at his position.

As of early May, Harvey has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, and Tennessee, and is committed to Cal.

Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst: Harvey plays on both sides of the ball for his high school team, but most likely projects best at wide receiver. Listed at 6'0 and 187 pounds, he may not necessarily be the most physically imposing presence, but possesses plenty of other attributes that help to make him a top 10 caliber recruit at his position.

Blessed with great hand-eye coordination, Harvey is able to track the ball exceptionally well on passes to all quadrants of the field. His vision allows him to almost always pick-up the ball early in flight. He's able to fully extend his arms away from his frame most times in which he is targeted, therefore, expanding his catch radius, making it bigger than usual for a player of his height.

Harvey has elite level ball skills -- some of the best of any recruit this cycle. He is excellent at contorting his body in mid-air to make circus catches. Not only he is an explosive leaper, but he times his jumps well. Combining that, along with his strong hands and high point skills, he's nearly unstoppable on contested throws.

As an open field runner Harvey is elusive. He's not a blazer, but doesn't do a ton of dancing or waste lateral movements. He eludes defenders with change of direction and vertical cuts.

Harvey is a bit raw as a route runner at this stage. That's most likely due in no small part to him being used all over field by his high school team as opposed to being able to focus on the nuances of any specific position. But he does have a good sense of pace and timing when getting into his routes. He needs to better translate his suddenness and lateral agility into his route running.

I see Harvey contributing almost immediately on special teams as a punt returner. Depending on how well he grasps the playbook he could also be in line for early playing time on offense as well.

Derrell Warren also writes at Pacific Coast Recruits. Follow him on twitter @yssd.

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