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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Largo's Harvey heads for void at UCF
By BOB PUTNAM, Times Staff Writer
Published January 28, 2008
Largo's Brynn Harvey, preparing to stiff arm Dunedin's Mike Towns in September, set the Pinellas County record for most yards rushing in a single season with 2,581.
[Joseph Garnett, Jr. | Times (2007)]
In June, Brynn Harvey received an offer to play football at Central Florida. The Largo running back, though, put off making a decision in hopes of getting noticed by other big-time programs.
Seven months later, Harvey decided he couldn't wait any longer.
On Sunday, he orally committed to the Knights.
"UCF was one of my first choices all along," Harvey said. "I wanted to be close to home, and I liked the atmosphere and coaches."
Harvey committed early because he believed it would stifle the almost-incessant communication with the schools vying for his talents.
"I was getting five, 10 calls a day," Harvey said. "It's a relief to get that part over with."
Harvey hardly registered a blip on most recruiters' radar during the regular season. The attention picked up in the playoffs as Harvey - 5 feet 11, 210 pounds - ran roughshod over the competition, setting the Pinellas County record for most yards rushing in a single season with 2,581.
Still, the interest came mostly from midmajor schools such as Ball State, Middle Tennessee State and Memphis.
"I wanted to wait to see what's out there," Harvey said. "For some reason, a lot of colleges were not looking at me for a while. I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity at UCF, so I jumped on it."
Harvey has a chance to earn playing time right away. UCF running back Kevin Smith, the nation's leading rusher this past season with 2,567 yards, decided to skip his senior year and enter the NFL draft.
"It's a great fit," Harvey said.
LEARNING THE HARD WAY: By the start of spring practice last year, Clearwater's Joe Marshall had his choice of scholarship offers from some of the top programs in the country. By the end of spring, at least two of those offers (Wisconsin and Iowa State) had been withdrawn.
"I had to learn the recruiting process the hard way," Marshall said. "I needed to commit right away with the big schools because I got knocked off (their list)."
The senior lineman visited Youngstown State this past weekend. He also has received interest from Minnesota and Buffalo.
"If I get an offer from Youngstown State, I'll take it," Marshall said. "I know now to jump on something when it's there."
BOYD SHORTENS HIS LIST: Northeast defensive lineman Javontae Boyd has narrowed his college choices to Kansas State, North Carolina State and West Virginia, Vikings assistant coach Kenny Crawford said.
USF was initially interested in Boyd but has since dropped out of the picture, Crawford said.