Harvin seals the deal


Florida receiver Percy Harvin races for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Gators' 38-28 win against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Harvin was the Most Valuable Player of the game.

Rob C. Witzel / The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, January 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 4:58 p.m.

To say that freshman wide receiver Percy Harvin had a very impressive first year would be an understatement. A week ago, Gatorsports.com honored Harvin as the Gatorsí #1 playmaker of 2006. The designation meant that no other player for Florida had the ability to break the game wide open as much as Harvin did.

That Harvin was able to put up big numbers and big performances against teams like UCF, Southern Miss, Vandy and Kentucky is one thing. Itís quite another when heís able to put together his best game in the conference championship game against Arkansas.

Following the SEC Championship Game, Harvin trotted off the field inside the Georgia Dome with a pair of gloves in one hand and an SEC Championship Most Valuable Player trophy in the other.

Harvin was named MVP after he accounted for 167 yards of total offense in Florida's 38-28 win over Arkansas. Harvin became the first freshman to win the award since LSU's Justin Vincent in 2003.

Harvin clearly was the centerpiece of Florida's offensive gameplan against the Razorbacks. And he certainly delivered.

Harvin caught five passes for 62 yards and rushed six times for 105 yards.

But his biggest moment of the game is Gatorsportsí #7 most important play of 2006.

Up by just three points early in the fourth quarter, Harvin busted a 67-yard touchdown run to put Florida ahead 31-21.

On the play, Harvin came in motion, received the hand-off from quarterback Chris Leak, reversed the field and exploded up the middle for the long score.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt knew stopping Harvin would be a challenge.

"We definitely gameplanned for him," Nutt said. "He's difficult to stop because he runs and they run screens for him like we do for (Darren) McFadden. With all the speed they have on the field, it's difficult to cover all of your bases."

And when it counted most, in the biggest game, Harvin delivered.

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