Yes, you read that right. Sunday night, Georgia Tech got its first commitment of the 2017 recruiting class in the form of the #1 punter in the nation -- Pressley Harvin III.
The commitment comes less than a month after Harvin received an official scholarship offer from the Yellow Jackets during an unofficial visit to the Flats. As previously stated, Harvin is rated the nation's #1 punter in the class of 2017 by both ProKicker.com and Kohl's Kicking.
Harvin hails from Sumter High School in Sumter, SC. He stands at 6'0", and weighs in around 230 pounds. (He's aiming to continue the recent Georgia Tech tradition of "big punters" when he takes over for Ryan Rodwell, who was listed at 6'2", 215 pounds as a recruit, and was listed at 221 pounds in the 2012 media guide.) Harvin's only scholarship offer so far was from Georgia Tech, though he had drawn interest from several top-flight programs around the region early in the recruiting cycle, including Alabama, Auburn, and Clemson. While kickers and punters don't often receive scholarship offers out of high school (with teams instead preferring to offer Preferred Walk-On spots and then handing out a scholarship later), some of the top prospects in the country will receive offers from teams in need of a player at their position. Assuming he signs, Harvin would be the fourth kicker or punter to have a full scholarship offer out of high school under Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, following Justin Moore (2010), Rodwell (2012), and Harrison Butker (2013).
If you take a look at Harvin's junior year highlights below, you'll see why he's worth giving a scholarship to right out of the gate. From top-to-bottom, Harvin is college-ready right now and figures to help the Jackets out from the moment he arrives at school. His leg strength is incredible for his age, and his accuracy follows along -- he's regularly able to pin opponents deep without letting the ball get into the end zone. The numbers back him up, too -- ProKicker.com says his average punt distance is just short of 44 yards (with a long of 53 yards), but that his hang time (arguably more important) is a very strong 4.48 seconds. You'll notice, too, that Harvin has only a two-step windup, resulting in a quick release that should avoid most block attempts from opponents.
Now, there are some folks out there who will probably want to criticize the move to offer and take the commitment from a punter such as Harvin -- they'll say that the offense being better would mean there's no need for a punter. To that, I'd remind people that punters are a lot like lawyers -- you hope you won't need one, but when you do need one, you'd like to have the best one you can get.
Harvin is rated a three-star prospect per Rivals (5.5) and the 247Sports Composite (.8333). As of now, he's the consensus #1 punter in the country for the class of 2017.
Congratulations to Harvin on his commitment, and to Georgia Tech's coaches on his successful recruitment!