The Next Big Thing: Ridge Point’s Harvey could be Houston’s next bigtime OL prospect
HOUSTON – Walking through the halls of Ridge Point High School you cannot miss Calvin Harvey.
The 6-foot-8, 328-pound offensive lineman for the Panthers has always been the biggest kid in class his entire life. When you are young that can be challenging.
"When I was younger I didn't want to be the tallest kid, because I thought it was weird or I didn't fit in with everybody," Harvey said. "I couldn't wear all the things my friends wore, so I didn't really like it."
But when you play football in high school – it's a complete advantage and college coaches take notice.
Harvey just finished his junior season at Ridge Point, where he earned unanimous first-team, all-district honors, and is getting noticed with recent offers from SMU and the University of Houston. And more should be coming.
"I believed that if I put in as much hard work in as I was told to put in that they would come," Harvey said. "I do have something that you can't teach, which is 6-foot-8, so I knew that my pure size would attract a lot of recruiters. I didn't know if I would get big Division I schools after my second year of playing."
After a great conversation with @CoachRickerOL I am proud to announce that I have received my first Division 1 offer from SMU!! #GoMustangs @Coach_SG @CoachKScholz @RPHS_FB @Perroni247 pic.twitter.com/7ScDhpp0oj
— Calvin Harvey (@CalvinHarvey76) February 10, 2021
Getting that first offer call was a special one.
After getting off the phone with Coach AJ Ricker at SMU, who did Harvey tell first? – his grandmother.
"My grandma always tells me, get your education," he said. "Your brain can take you farther than your body can. I've been preached to and talked to for several hours about that I'm a student-athlete. Being a student comes first.
"I told my grandma; she came to tears and told me just to keep my head on straight and focus on the task at hand."
What is crazy about all of this is that Harvey never played middle school or even freshman football. He really didn't even play much little league football growing up either.
Harvey played for Fort Bend GridIron Football when he was about nine-years-old and played for Ridge Point White for his dad who was the coach. Harvey, of course, one of the biggest kids on the field, played middle linebacker, outside linebacker, and right tackle.
Football did not stick though as a young Calvin Harvey didn't like contact and went the basketball route.
Well, that has changed.
Turning on his HUDL highlight, it's a show of unrelenting force over and over. Opposing defensive linemen being tossed a few years away or being shoved straight to the ground.
"My power comes from legs to drive and having a no prisoners attitude," "I want my opponent in front of me to know that I am there and that they can't escape me for the whole entire game. I want them to know it's going to be a long night.
"You put someone in front of me, you're going to need backup."
One person that got a front-row seat to the Harvey show each week was first-year Ridge Point coach Rick LaFavers, who sees the pure raw talent that the junior lineman possesses.
"He has great measurables, can bend and run with great length and punch," he said. "Great energy, work ethic, and leadership! He is just scratching the surface with his abilities as he continues to learn and grow. He is a tremendous player and more importantly a tremendous young man and an absolute joy to coach and be around!"
So, now being the biggest kid in his class - including having a between a 6-foot-5 and 7-foot wingspan and wearing a size 17 shoe - is something Harvey embraces. He actually loves it.
"It's a blessing," he said. "Coaches come and talk to me. I'm the biggest guy on the field. I'm a dominant player with my size, so the sky is the limit.
"Yeah, I've always been the biggest kid around a lot of people, and quite frankly, now I embrace it. I love being 6-foot-8, 328-pounds."