RJ Harvey leads the Eagles forward | Observer Preps

At Edgewater High School, Robert “RJ” Harvey Jr. has made a name for himself on the football field.

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  • | 10:30 a.m. September 21, 2018
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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As far back as he can remember, Robert “RJ” Harvey Jr. always has had a football in his hands.

He’s loved the game since childhood, and it was also a time to bond with his father. So you could say football has been as much about family as it’s been about the game itself.

Harvey’s dad walked on at Bethune-Cookman as a defensive back, so it makes sense the game would mean more to Harvey.

“I’ve been playing football since I was 5; I just loved running around,” Harvey said. “Then my dad … taught me all I needed to know about football, and he has trained me since I was younger. I’ve loved the game ever since.”

Although those early days of running around carefree in the backyard have passed, Harvey still is running — albeit on high-school football fields as he looks to make big plays as the starting quarterback for the Edgewater Eagles.

Through his three years on the varsity squad, Harvey has risen from a raw talented player to a dual-threat QB who has helped single-handedly taken out opposing teams with a flip of the wrist or with an ankle-breaking turn on a run.

He’s a player who truly is a game-changer at every level — both athletically and academically, head coach Cameron Duke said.


“He’s a true dual-threat quarterback — he can make all the throws, he’s electric with the ball in his hands as a runner, and he is a very intelligent kid,” Duke said. “And it’s a reflection of just who he is as a person. He is a great student and … unbelievable in the classroom, and a guy you want to lead your team because he does things right on and off the field.”

So far this season, Harvey has continued to do what he does best — lead the team with naturally given


Through the first four weeks of the football season, Harvey has racked up impressive gains with both his arm and his feet.

On the ground, he has racked up 362 rushing yards on just 26 carries while picking up six touchdowns. Through the air, Harvey has gone 22-for-57 for 423 yards, tossed three touchdowns and no picks.

One of his best games came at the best time for Edgewater, when the Eagles outlasted Bishop Moore in a 24-20 win in the Battle of College Park — a win that helped the Eagles end a 27-year winless streak against the Hornets. In that game, Harvey finished with two touchdowns — one passing and one rushing — and a whopping 162 rushing yards.

“That felt great,” Harvey said with a laugh. “Before I got here, Edgewater was losing to Bishop Moore, and I heard it was a big game. When I came in 2016, they put a huge beating on us, so I just wanted that revenge.”

The win itself over Bishop Moore was just another stepping stone for Harvey and the Edgewater football program. The Eagles have made great strides since that difficult 2016 year.

That year — Harvey’s first season at Edgewater — was filled with loss after loss as the Eagles went winless through 10 games. But since then, everything has changed.

“I think the coaching has changed — more players are counting on each other to do better and change the program,” Harvey said. “We’ve been grinding over the summer, spring and fall, and we just fight for one another.”

- RJ Harvey

With the arrival of Duke last year, the Eagles have become a program reborn — going from 0-10 to going claiming a district title and making the playoffs after a 9-3 season. 

The differences between 2016 and this season — where Edgewater sits at 4-0 (1-0 in district) — have been tremendous, Harvey said.

“I think the coaching has changed — more players are counting on each other to do better and change the program,” Harvey said. “We’ve been grinding over the summer, spring and fall, and we just fight for one another.”

And although Harvey will continue to focus on this season — working to take the Eagles back to a district titles and the playoffs — he has a lot to look forward to once he hangs up his cleats at Edgewater.

Once graduated, Harvey will make the 12-hour trip up to Charlottesville, Virginia, to suit up for the University of Virginia Cavaliers. There, he will attempt to snag the starting job at QB.

“That was always a dream of mine — to play for a Power Five school and compete at the highest level,” Harvey said. “And it’s always been my dream to go to the NFL.”


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