After a breakout game last Saturday against Missouri Southern, Fort Hays State junior linebacker Drew Harvey believes he’s just starting to scratch the surface of his potential with the Tigers.
Harvey was a late arrival for Fort Hays after transferring into the program from the University of Kansas, joining the Tigers with fall camp already in full swing.
“It was hard for me to make the transition because I came so late, and so because of that, I had to spend a great deal of time with (defensive line coach Ike Eguae); he’s been very instrumental in helping me learn plays,” Harvey said. “Saturday was one of the first times I really felt a little bit more comfortable in just knowing where I was supposed to be and what my role on the defense is.”
Harvey logged 12 tackles and two sacks in the Tigers’ 44-3 win against Southern.
“I believe I’m just now getting in the groove of things," he said. "I’m starting to realize where everything is supposed to go. Because, honestly, I was just playing off athletic ability (at the start of the season) and not so much knowing exactly where I fit in the scheme of the defense.
“Now that I do understand that, and I’m watching a ton of film now, I feel like it’s going to be a great season.”
After a year at Hutchinson Community College, Harvey, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound native of Crete, Ill., played sparingly last year at Kansas as a sophomore. He was projected to play a bigger role for the Jayhawks this season before deciding to enter the transfer portal in the summer.
“My junior college coach played here, Thaddeus Brown,” Harvey said. “He was very instrumental in my decision to come here, because I was recruited by a bunch of other Division I schools when I left the University of Kansas.
“What really stuck out to me was when I came on my visit to see the facilities and met Coach (Chris) Brown; I realized he was a genuine person that was going to push me to make me a better person, make me a better man, not just a football player. He wants good people, not just football players.”
Harvey has started all four games for the 2-2 Tigers, recording 33 tackles with five tackles for loss. He said he’s been impressed by the competition level of the MIAA so far.
“When I look at any opponent, he straps his shoes up the same way I do, and that’s how I’ve always felt about any football player, period," he said. "I want your best. And the MIAA is showing me its best. It has a bunch of athletes, a bunch of talent. It caught me off guard a little bit because I didn’t know what to expect really.”
Harvey and the FHSU defense will look to build off last week’s strong showing when the Tigers face Central Oklahoma (2-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Edmond.
“Man, we’re starting to mesh and become a family,” Harvey said. “Before we were just a bunch of new guys. Defense took the biggest hit here in losing instrumental people (off last year’s team). We just had to come together. Now that we have, it’s about to be a great thing.”