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Friday, May 27, 2022

Kim Harvey has always described her son as calm, cool, collective and quiet.

Even on the eve of possibly the most important day of his career, Derrick Harvey stayed true to his nature.

The UF defensive end said had no problems sleeping Friday - "I was knocked out" - and wasn't at all nervous before he heard his named called as the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft on Saturday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Harvey through a trade deal with the Baltimore Ravens that included Jacksonville's first-round pick (No. 26), a pair of third-round picks and a fourth-rounder.

Harvey tuned in to the draft from his parents' home in Maryland and was just as surprised as everyone else watching on television.

It wasn't long before Coach Jack Del Rio was on the other end of the phone.

"I told him, 'I'm glad to be a Jacksonville Jaguar. I'm ready to come in and work hard and learn the plays,'" Harvey said. "He said, 'OK, cool.' He's ready for me to come down."

The Jaguars could use some help on their defensive line after trading three-time Pro Bowl selection Marcus Stroud to the Buffalo Bills and losing Bobby McCray to free agency.

"I'm going to just compete for a starting job," Harvey said. "I'm going to listen to my D-line coach and learn from the veterans."

Jacksonville defensive line coach Ted Monachino has already spent some quality time with Harvey when the two executed defensive line drills at UF's Pro Day last month.

"He's a competitor. He's a snap-to-whistle, bottom-of-his shoes-to-top-of-his-headgear kind of guy, and I think that jumps out at you," Monachino said. "His arrow is going up in a big way. I think he's going to be a good player for a long, long time."

The 6-foot-4, 270 pound lineman will join his former Gator teammate safety Reggie Nelson, who called Harvey on Saturday evening to congratulate him.

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Harvey plans to be in Jacksonville later in the week after he makes a pit stop in Gainesville to pack up his belongings.

As for his first purchase as an NFL player, he wants to buy a car for his mother. His mother and stepfather put 40,000 miles on their car in the past year-and-a-half driving from Maryland to Gainesville to attend their son's games.

Harvey isn't sure what kind of car he will buy, but he does know she will not be racking up any more miles during all-nighter road trips to Florida.

"She'll probably fly now," he said as you could almost hear the smile on his face.

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