Whether East Carolina will have the services of the most productive player on the defensive side of the ball in their conference remains unclear.
Earlier this offseason, ECU petitioned the NCAA for another season of eligibility for Nate Harvey. In January, it was reported that the university expected a decision within a couple of weeks; two months later, both the player and the football are still awaiting word.
“We don’t have an update from the NCAA,” first-year head coach Mike Houston said in quotes released by the school. “I do expect one virtually any day now, but we don’t have anything yet. …
“Talking to Nate, the things that we’ve discussed is that, either way, he has plans to play football next year. So right now, he’s preparing to play football next year. That’s how he’s approaching everything. No matter what the decision is that comes down, we’re going to support Nate Harvey fully. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that he is on the field playing. So, I hope it’s here with us, I believe it will be. If it’s not, we’re going to help prepare him for what’s next in his life.”
Harvey’s path to another season of eligibility is far from clearcut. From 247Sports.com earlier this year:
Harvey’s extra year of eligibility hopes stem from his first year of junior college at Georgia Military in 2015. Harvey declined to talk about specifics of the 2015 season earlier this year, but he said he only played in “like 12 snaps” as a freshman in what was ruled a full season.
If Harvey’s appeal is denied, he will very likely enter his name into the NFL’s supplemental draft.
After finishing the 2018 season with 25.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks, Harvey, who spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons at a lower level of football, was named as the AAC Defensive Player of the Year. Harvey played in a dozen games his first season with the Pirates in 2017, with most of that action coming on special teams.