Sumter, SC punter Pressley Harvin almost didn’t give Georgia Tech a chance.
As a sophomore, Harvin was riding home after a two-day kicking camp at the University of Alabama when he received a call that would ultimately lead him to his destiny.
“On the drive back, Cedric Oglesby, a kicking coach from down there that's based in Atlanta, called me and said, 'Well, Georgia Tech has their kicking camp Sunday morning. I want you to go, but if you don't want to go I understand,’” Harvin said.
Oglesby, a former college kicker at South Carolina, played in three games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2001. Oglesby runs a kicker, punter and snapper academy in the Southeast.
Harvin, 6-foot, 240 pounds, admitted after the two full days at Alabama’s kicking camp, he was exhausted and didn’t want to travel to work out in front of more college coaches.
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"Something told me, 'Pressley, just go to it,' and it worked out because I (finished) the Alabama camp and the second day I went to Georgia Tech camp and that's how I got Georgia Tech looking at me,” Harvin said. “That really helped me and it was definitely something that I should've done without second-guessing."
Harvin is ranked No. 4 on 247 Sports’ list of top ranked punters in the 2017 recruiting class.
While Harvin will take his craft seriously as a Yellow Jacket, he wants Georgia Tech fans to know that he wants to enjoy his job when he’s on the field inside Bobby Dodd Stadium.
"Some people, football is like a business to them,” Harvin said. “They play it, they're good, but they don't really enjoy it. I really enjoy the game... I want (Tech fans) to know that I'm not just a punter. I think I'm more than that. I know my position (confines) me to that, but I want them to know that I'm more of a dynamic person on the field and kicking makes me happy. That's why I do it."
Harvin was the first member of Georgia Tech’s 2017 signing class when he verbally committed in March 2016.
Harvin will graduate on June 3 from Sumter High School and will move to Georgia Tech on June 13 for freshman orientation.
The rest of the Q&A with Harvin can be read below.
What are you most excited about when you enroll in Georgia Tech?
Harvin: "Furthering my education, first and foremost. I wanted to make sure I had a good foundation from high school to be able to go anywhere in the country and Georgia Tech was the best fit for me especially academically because it's the best engineering school out there in the nation. So I wanted to make sure I had a great opportunity to go do that. Really the education part is what I'm really most excited to get to."
What do you picture the first day of college football workouts to be like?
Harvin: "The first day is the worst day really. There's a lot that a college workout goes through. Physically, I'm pretty ready for it. Mentally, I'm ready for it. It's just to go out there and get it and get used to it which will be kind of hard. But I picture hard work, getting the dedication that you need and at the same time, making yourself better."
What is the funniest thing any had coach said to you during the recruiting process?
Harvin: "The coach already knows the position I play, but when (coaches during recruiting) ask, 'So what position do you play?' and you tell them punter, they just look at you with a funny face like, 'Are you sure you play that?' I’m a pretty big dude. I get that a lot. That's the last thing anyone thinks I play if they don't know me or anything... They think I'm a linebacker or something. Hopefully, they didn't want to recruit me is that because that's not what I want."
What advice would you give a junior about recruiting?
Harvin: "The advice I would give is don't go full in on the school if you're not going to give them your word. Don't go somewhere that you don't want to go basically. Don't go put your name out there with the school’s name right beside yours when all you're doing is trying to get another offer from another school. I would say just be a man of your word. If you tell the school that you're going to go there, then you do that. You don't just (commit to) a school to get another school to look at you and try to get you to flip. I believe in you do what you say and you mean what you say."
Which college did the most creative thing to get your attention?
Harvin: "I think it was Georgia Tech because the thing that they did was offer me a Junior Day which I was not expecting at all. So to offer me that early, I think that was the most dynamic thing that they did."
Who is the hardest coach for you to turn down?
Harvin: "It has to be (Clemson coach) Dabo Swinney. When I first started getting recruited by Clemson, I went to a game day and they didn't really pay much attention. But Signing Day came around this year and he told me, 'We can offer you a scholarship if you choose to switch.' I wanted to go to Clemson, that was really my second or third choice, but that didn't work out because they didn't show me much attention so I was like, 'You had your shot and you blew it.'"
So is Clemson the biggest disappointment or was it another school?
Harvin: "Alabama was first, then Clemson. We all know they have one of the most dynamic punters ever, J.K. Scott. And two years ago, I think he was a freshman or sophomore, and when I went to Alabama's camp, it was like all the coaches were talking to me and they had really good hospitality there. They loved my family. Nick Saban and sat me down in his office and talked. But the disappointment was after that, I thought they would at least keep up with me and see if the scholarship spot opens up or if J.K. Scott graduated early, would I be the next one to come in? The disappointment was after that camp, I heard nothing from Alabama and I still haven't heard anything from them. So I learned very quickly that recruiting is not what people think it is. It's not, 'Okay, you're in the camp you get a scholarship.' I did not see that coming at all."
What are Georgia Tech's expectations of you as a freshman?
Harvin: "As a freshman coming in, to start. That's what I really wanted to do. That's really why I chose Georgia Tech too. I wanted to come in and start. I like competition, I like competing, but if you're on scholarship, you're the man. So I wanted to make sure I’m the man whenever I go out there. When I get down there, I want to make sure I have all the coaches trust and my players’ trust, because I don't want to come in and have people think, 'He's a freshman, he might not be able to do it.' I want them to know I'm ready for the job and and once I get there I'm gonna go as far as I can with it."
What game are you most looking forward to?
Harvin: "The one that I really want to get at is really Clemson. I hope we win that game, I think we will because by percentage, Clemson is it going to be the same as they were last year. I want to just show the coaching staff what they missed out on."