In perhaps the most obvious sign that he might make his 2008 debut Saturday against Miami, Florida receiver Percy Harvin spoke to the media Tuesday for the first time since doctors drilled a hole in his right heel in April to fix an injury that has plagued the speedster since high school.
Harvin, a junior who averaged 11.4 yards per offensive touch while playing receiver and tailback in 2007, said he feels strong enough to play, but Florida's training staff will make the final decision. "I feel like I'm going to play," Harvin said. "If I keep progressing like this, I'm definitely going to play. But, like I said, it's on [the trainers]. ... I just go with what they tell me."
Florida coach Urban Meyer said last week that he would play Harvin as soon as Harvin seemed ready. Last week, Meyer dismissed the idea of saving a healthy Harvin -- who has missed games to injury in each of his three seasons -- until the Gators open SEC play at Tennessee on Sept. 20. Meyer said he is less concerned with contact than with Harvin overcompensating for the heel and injuring another part of his body. The heel injury, Meyer said, was the root cause of several of Harvin's earlier injuries. "I'm not worried about the hitting," Meyer said. "I've told him that for two months. I'm worried about something else. ... They took a big chunk of bone out of his heel. I'm just worried about the other parts."
So will Harvin actually play, or are Meyer and company toying with Hurricanes' defensive coaches while simultaneously -- though unintentionally -- messing with the minds of the nation's gamblers? It's hard to tell. Harvin says he's ready, and Meyer seems just about convinced.
"You need to have a good Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (to play)," Meyer said. "He's had a good Monday-Tuesday. We should know more tomorrow."