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Laurel High Grad Takes Aim at the NFL

Brandon Harvey is a senior linebacker at Delaware State and among the top tacklers in the MEAC.

Two years ago Brandon Harvey was playing junior college football at a small town in New York.

Now, as a senior linebacker at Division I Delaware State, the 2008 Laurel High graduate appears to be putting himself on the radar of National Football League scouts.

Last year as a junior, Harvey led Delaware State in tackles and ranked among the top 10 in that category in the MEAC with 87.

“Speed and quickness,” said Harvey, when asked to name his strengths. “I am very aggressive. I like to be aggressive.”

Harvey had a team-high 11 tackles and one sack on Saturday as the Hornets lost, 69-0, at MEAC power South Carolina State. Harvey had a team-high 26 tackles in the first three games this season.

It was the second loss in a row for the Hornets to a team ranked nationally at the Division I-AA level. The week before, Delaware State fell to state rival Delaware, which lost in the national title game in 2010.

So how did Harvey, now listed at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, go from playing at Hudson Valley Community College to being a possible NFL player?

“I worked really hard in the off-season,” said Harvey, who played one year of junior varsity and two years of varsity football at Laurel High. “I am definitely bigger. I gained a lot of weight.” Harvey said he has gained about 40 pounds since high school.

Harvey was not highly recruited out of high school.

“I got a call from Hudson Valley. That was the first call that I got and took it,” Harvey said. After two years at Hudson Valley, he attracted the attention of four-year schools such as Toledo, Southern Illinois and Tulsa.

He headed to Delaware State, where he is psychology major. And after this season he hopes to be picked up by an NFL team. “That is definitely a goal. I have spoken to NFL scouts,” said Harvey, who hopes to get drafted in the spring.

Michael Ketchum, the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Delaware State, is in his first season at the school.

“He brings a toughness and a physicality to the linebacker position that is hard to find,” Ketchum told Patch about Harvey. “He is a wonderful linebacker. He outworks other people. When he hits people they stop. The one thing that pros do, when they watch film, they want to make sure you stop people in their tracks.”

Prep notes: Laurel resident Randall Marshall (Pallotti Prep), who plays women’s soccer at Delaware State, was one of just three players to start the first 12 games for the Hornets. The junior defender had two goals for Delaware State, which was 1-10-1.

Laurel High lost on Saturday in football to Suitland, 46-0. The score was 32-0 at halftime. Laurel is now 1-3 overall and plays Saturday at Oxon Hill.

Jarvis McClam completed seven of 21 passes for 44 yards and three interceptions and Joel Roberson threw an interception on his only attempt. Roberson caught four passes, John Ketum caught two and Patrick Holmes had one catch. McClam ran for 19 yards for Laurel.

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