(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
There was a fairly new face on the field at wide receiver last Saturday for the Sun Devils. Jalen Harvey, a redshirt sophomore, is making a surge up the depth chart and has seen his breakthrough rewarded with an increase in playing time.
Going alongside N’Keal Harry and Tim White at wide receiver to start the game against Texas Tech, Harvey caught four passes for 39 yards, an obvious improvement over the season opener, in which he did not make a catch.
He had the same amount of catches all of last season while being sidelined eight weeks, which forced him to play in only five games. In addition to redshirting his first year, he has effectively missed almost all of his first two seasons at ASU, which he admits has stunted his development.
Harvey’s still young college career has also seen him be experimented at SPUR linebacker during practices, but it seems he it at wide receiver to stay. Now that he has worked his way into the regular unit, the big focus for him is on avoiding injury.
“I’m just waking up every day with a good mindset,” he said. “Not thinking too much, so coming out here and playing with the team.”
Perhaps he may be starting to live up to the potential that he came to Tempe with. A four star recruit out of high school, 24-7 Sports listed him as the No. 22 wide receiver prospect in the country. The injuries have kept him from reaching that potential so far, but Harvey has youth on his side compared to most of the other players on the roster.
His position coach, Jay Norvell, has been a big part of Harvey’s emergence and has noticed a big key for him during the process.
“Just the way he works,” Norvell said.” He’s a hard-worker and a competitive guy. He just comes and competes every day and that’s all we can ask for him. He’s just very consistent in that way and he has earned the trust of his teammates and coaches because of that competitiveness.”
Harvey has already established himself as a target for Manny Wilkins, and if he stays healthy, could become even more of a focal point of this high-scoring offense.
“He’s just executing,” Norvell added. “Taking more and more advantage of his opportunities, and we expect him to be a big part of the offense this season and we want him to continue to execute and make big plays.”
-Christian Sam and George Lea were seen on muscle beach. Sam did not play against the Red Raiders and is questionable against UTSA.
-Tim White was limited in practice. He missed the fourth quarter of the game on Saturday.