One of the players who is looking to not just make the team, but become the starter at his position, is Pressley Harvin III. The 7th round pick out of Georgia Tech has to unseat incumbent starter Jordan Berry, but Harvin’s big leg has fans excited for a player who could be the punter for the next decade, and more.
Harvin’s story is an intriguing one, considering the position he plays and all the other variables which come with it. But the one constant for Harvin has been the fact he has always been counted out. Nonetheless, he thrives in the underdog role.
“I have always been more of an underdog in football,” Harvin told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “Whenever I have to prove myself, I have always had that underdog mentality. The biggest underdog factor is I am a black punter, and you never see that much.
“Whenever I started kicking back in middle school, I always had that mentality that I am different and unique. I didn’t want that to make people think I didn’t earn what I have. Back in seventh grade we had open tryouts and I was playing offensive line. Coach said one day we need a punter and kicker, so we had open tryouts. Every guy had a tryout and when it was my turn, I kicked it and the ball went straight up in the air. Ever since that moment I knew it was something where I was the only one on the team that could do and do it pretty good. I started kicking in seventh and eighth grade but didn’t get any training until freshman year in high school.”
Harvin had the knack for kicking the football, but it was his mentality to prove others wrong which resulted in him kicking footballs for a Division I program like Georgia Tech.
“I had the mentality that I have to prove to people I can do this at a high level,” said Harvin. “I took it really personal. I had my ups and downs. Just getting into high school, being on the football team, coaches try to lean you in a direction. That was a direction I didn’t agree with. That was the one time I had to tell a coach no, I don’t want to do that. Usually, a coach will put you in a right position. That was the first time I told a coach no, I want to do this, not that. He told me flat out I wouldn’t be good at it. I thought this coach doesn’t believe in what I can do, let me show him I can do this.”
Will Harvin be ready to beat out Berry in camp? Many fans are hoping that is the case, but Berry has held the punting duties for an extended period of time for a reason. He is a trusted holder of Chris Boswell, and has proven to be the best option for the Steelers at the position. That all could change with Pressley Harvin’s big leg now on the offseason roster.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.