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Honoring the Seniors: Pressley Harvin III

“Please be quiet — a guy is about to bomb a football.”

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Georgia Tech Athletics

The college football universe may know him as “that thicc punter boi from Georgia Tech”, but put some respect on his name: this is Ray Guy finalist Pressley Harvin III, we’re talking about here.

Harvin came to Tech in 2017 from Sumter, SC’s eponymous high school, where he was already a highly-touted punting prospect. 247Sports lists him as the fourth-best punting prospect in the nation that year and, more incredibly (considering the position he plays), the 27th-best recruit in the state of South Carolina. He was nationally-renowned for his ability to put footballs into the stratosphere, earning 2016 All-USA honors from USA Today and a first-overall recruit ranking from Kohl’s Kicking.

He was called into action as a freshman, turning in 50 punts for an eye-catching 44.1 yards per punt. After a slightly down year in 2018 (only 41.3 yards per punt — the horrors of regression, surely), he turned heads once again in 2019, with an astounding 80 punts with an average distance of 44.8 yards, prompting ESPN’s Pat McAfee to stump for him (#ForTheBrand) on national television versus NC State late in the year:

Those 80 punts ensured Harvin led punting statistical charts across the nation — he ranked first in the NCAA and ACC in terms of total punts and total punt yardage and fifth in the ACC in terms of average punt yardage.

Before we continue, it may be prudent to note one other critical element of Harvin’s game: his passing ability. As some may know, Pressley Harvin has one heck of an arm, which he put on full display in his one (1) passing touchdown of 2019:

Harvin built upon 2019, launching footballs even further than before in 2020. In ten games, he posted comparable metrics to his previous 11- and 12-game season, raking up 45 punts for 2161 total yards and an earth-shattering average punt yardage of 48.0 yards, which led both the ACC and the nation. If you don’t believe the basic numbers, let’s let the advanced ones do the talking:

Harvin didn’t get as much help from his coverage team as his counterparts from Iowa City and Athens, but he still put together masterful punting performances, consistently pinning opponents deep in their own territory despite being well into his own. The national accolades rolled in in spades:

He’ll end his collegiate career with an average punt distance of 44.7 yards, good enough for 25th-best in national history and third-best in ACC history. The dude is good — real good.

Harvin helped ease the 2019-20 transition away from the flexbone option by papering over the offense’s early struggles (especially in 2019) with towering kicks that consistently put his team’s defense in positions to succeed. He was often the best player on his own unit (and some days in 2019, the entire team), as I noted in my rant about special teams from the end of the 2019 season:

The only thing keeping this unit from getting a straight-up F is the punting performance of Pressley Harvin III, who was forced into action almost as many times in 2019 as the previous two years combined and still managed to beat his previous average punt yards mark by 0.7. There is a fairly compelling argument for Harvin as this team’s 2019 MVP...

While Harvin now has some competition for 2020 team MVP, he is still the team’s special-teams star and certified grade-A stud. It’s hard to say where a specialist might go in the draft (as recent specialists haven’t had the greatest luck being picked high), but any NFL team in need of high-quality punting talent need look no further than our very own Pressley Harvin III.