Percy Harvin was the greatest Florida Gator of the Tim Tebow Era.
I know the fact that we even recognize a period as the "Tim Tebow Era" contradicts the idea that another player may have been more dominant. While Tebow deserves his praise, he shared the spotlight with a dude who was way, way, way faster than him.
Tebow could do it all well, but Harvin could catch and run exceptionally well. And Harvin had a way better professional career.
Percy Harvin was a champion at every level of his football career. He retired from the NFL for the second time at the age of 28. Today, at 33, the former utility speedster is looking to run it back.
Harvin says he's finally past his physical, emotional, and maturity issues. The Super Bowl champion still wants a team to pick him up. NFL coaches would be hard-pressed to find a player with a better resume.
Early Life & Florida Career
RELATED: Percy Harvin's 80-Yard TD Run Made South Carolina Look Like Slo-Mo
William Percy Harvin III was born on May 28, 1988, on the same day Jane O'Meara married Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Harvin was raised in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he led his high school to a state championship. Harvin put up over 400 individual yards in the state championship game alone.
Harvin received college football interest from his home state and beyond. He chose to take his talents to Florida (but not to Miami) and joined the Gators in Gainesville.
Head coach Urban Meyer, quarterback Tim Tebow, and WR Percy Harvin won two BCS National Championships from 2006-2008. The Gators chomped on Ohio State and then Oklahoma for their rings.
Harvin (playing wide receiver and running back) scored a touchdown in both victories.
The Gators stopped a rolling Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship in '08. With championships in his pocket from all levels of competition, Harvin declared for the NFL draft after his junior season.
Some consider Harvin one of the greatest college players of all time. His versatility and speed set him apart from the competition, and there were indeed times when he looked untouchable.
As a Georgia fan, I feared every step the speedy Harvin took, with or without the ball. There were times when he just looked plain better than everyone else, and NFL scouts noticed. The Minnesota Vikings selected the University of Florida wideout with the 22nd draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
For the first time in his life, Harvin needed a heavier jacket. His offseasons were about to get chilly.
Percy Harvin was a threat to score every time he touched it ? pic.twitter.com/ekZa8nLLqu
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) May 28, 2019
The quick-footed Harvin found a way to contribute in Minnesota during his first year. He was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009. His first season was his best in Minnesota.
Rumors soon swirled about Harvin's like-ability as a teammate. Harvin may have a tough time denying these rumors. He admits there's not a single NFL game he played that he wasn't stoned for, which is either inspiring or sad depending on your habits.
I'm not saying potheads can't be productive (Michael Phelps; Elon Musk; oh yeah, Percy Harvin), and Harvin did win a Super Bowl while stoned.
The former first-round pick was officially traded to Seattle in 2013 due to hip and knee issues.
The 2013 Seattle Seahawks were a force to be reckoned with and reached the Super Bowl (mostly) without Harvin. A dominant offense comprised of Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson, and Golden Tate split field time with a championship-obsessed defense. After a 16-3 season, the Seahawks defeated NFC foes New Orleans and San Francisco in the playoffs. They found themselves facing off with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos for the Super Bowl in New York on a frigid February 2014 evening.
Harvin technically made two plays in Super Bowl XLVIII, but only one is remembered. In only his second game of the season, Harvin flashed his old speed and returned a kick 87 yards for a touchdown.
It's the @SuperBowl.
But Percy Harvin turned it into a track meet. ?(via @nflthrowback) #SBXLVIII | #TBT pic.twitter.com/XHdoeBD4Ty
— NFL (@NFL) January 31, 2019
Look at the scoreboard. Harvin's touchdown was hardly the turning point, but it was still (Borat voice) very nice! Harvin had accomplished the incredibly difficult: he won a state title, BCS National Championship, and Super Bowl during his career.
All eyes were on Harvin for his thrilling return, and it soon came out that Harvin punched Golden Tate the day before the game for talking smack. When Harvin was officially traded to the New York Jets the next season, it was because of injury and personnel issues.
Percy punched Tate for saying the Seahawks were fine without Harvin. Unfortunately for Harvin, Golden Tate (great name) and Doug Baldwin were right.
Harvin's career and health were decidedly descending by the time he was traded to the New York Jets in 2014. He was sent upstate to the Buffalo Bills the next season, and his hip and knee issues followed.
Tired of being in pain from migraine headaches, Harvin retired in April 2016. Well... kind of.
Percy Harvin Retirement(s)
Percy Harvin's first full practice with the #Bills since coming out of retirement. @TWCNewsBuffalo pic.twitter.com/5AsstNm92O
— Andy Young (@AndyYoungTV) November 3, 2016
Wide receiver Percy Harvin, tired of being in pain, did retire in Spring 2016, but un-retired by November. He re-joined the Bills because they had suffered injuries to several key receivers.
(Why management would aim to replace one broken piece with another broken piece is beyond my comprehension, but NFL GMs are geniuses, and I — just a lowly writer.)
Injury-riddled Harvin played two games in 2016. In 2017, Harvin again announced his retirement.
Harvin found pain relief for his hip and knee in the years following his second retirement. Surgery and years of physical therapy have nursed Harvin back to health, who is now having third thoughts on retirement.
Percy Harvin Now
Breaking: Former 1st-rounder, FA WR Percy Harvin tells me: ?I?m ready to return to the NFL. I thought I was done, but that itch came back. I?ve been training w/a former Olympian. My body is feeling good. Mentally I?m better. My family is good. The timing is right.? He's 185lbs. pic.twitter.com/NQaadbF73B
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 22, 2020
Percy Harvin is so fast that you have to film him in slow motion.
A month into 2020's coronavirus pandemic, Harvin told ESPN's Josina Anderson he was feeling ready for a return to the NFL. "Great news!" said no one, who is exactly who signed Harvin to a $100 million deal.
Not the Falcons, Patriots, Bengals, Cowboys, Panthers, Lions or Eagles wanted to bring Harvin on. He remains a free agent today, keeping his NFL comeback on hold.
Harvin finally figured out what's going on with his knee and hip. With a new leg in order, the speedy utility player is training with an Olympian and still seeking a way back into the NFL. Maybe he should hit up his old friends Tebow and Meyer down in Jacksonville. I hear the Jaguars will hire anyone who was good in college.
Not that Harvin was only good in college. He likely won't make the Hall of Fame, but a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl are the things kids dream of.
Speaking of which, Harvin wants to fulfill a childhood dream and join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bandwagon with Tom Brady. He must still be smoking something. But what else would you expect out of the greatest Florida man of all time?
MORE: Percy Harvin Completely Wrecked Defenses in High School
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