Harvey of SHS set to take game to next level

Rufus Harvey of SHS

Staff Writer

Rufus Harvey has been turning heads around Starkville for a few years now as an electric playmaker on the football field.

Last season, he did it for the first time for the high school Yellowjackets and looked the part of a veteran receiver.

The 5-11, 165-pound pass catcher broke through with 38 catches for 517 yards and seven touchdowns for Starkville High School. The numbers didn’t do some of his catches the justice they deserve as he had a Hail Mary touchdown, balancing act receptions and many more plays that had him ahead of the game of the rest of the players in his classification.

In 2018, Harvey is hoping for bigger things for the Jackets after his debut season.

“I’m a little more experienced," Harvey said. "I feel that I can do more things now. I’ve got a feel of the game and I’ve got everything down pat.”

Harvey got the chance to showcase his skill in front of Mississippi State coaches late last month at the elite Top Dawg Camp at Davis Wade Stadium and he most definitely made an impression.

In one-on-one drills, Harvey dazzled and won most of his battles in front of head coach Joe Moorhead and other members of the staff. He caught passes from MSU 2019 quarterback commitment Garrett Shrader, 2021 teammate Luke Altmyer from SHS and many more along the way.

Overall, he counted the opportunity a privilege and felt he improved his game ahead of the season.

“I had a pretty good day, but I could have competed more and had more reps,” Harvey said. “It was a good camp learning from (wide receivers coach Luke Getsy). I know he knows his stuff after coaching at the highest level. I got to learn a lot of things from him.”

After camp, Harvey talked one-on-one with Getsy, who was pleased with what he saw out of the talented player. The Bulldogs appear to be keeping an eye on the local product for the future.

“He was telling me that we should get to know each other a little more and get our relationship closer,” Harvey said. “He wanted me to come up and get to some of the games.

“It’s just a good school. I like this school a lot. I didn’t know too much about the old staff, but I feel this one is going to have a really good year this year. It’s a great coaching staff.”

Recruiting is just beginning, but Harvey already has an offer from Southern Miss. MSU could be following down the line, but Harvey isn’t worried about it just yet.

All of the focus is now on Harvey’s junior year with the Jacket. They are going to have a new-look offense in many ways as former quarterback Malik Brown moves to wide receiver and Harvey takes passes from the sophomore Altmyer.

An offseason full of work with Altmyer has the two with chemistry through the roof.

“This spring, Luke and I worked and got our conditioning down,” Harvey said. “Now with me outside, I feel like I can get more deep balls out there.

As for the rest of the team and the season ahead, Harvey has one goal in mind – getting a state championship.

Harvey played a major role in the run to the Class 6A state title game last year and experienced heartbreak with the rest of his teammates as they lost to Pearl. Now he’s looking to complete the task this season.

“I’m very excited to see what this year brings," Harvey said. "We’ve got to finish. Last year we went to the state championship and we were up for three quarters, but we didn’t finish. This year, we’ve got to finish.”