It was a whirlwind January for offensive lineman Karvaris Harkless. He originally committed to Louisville and former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong on April 16, 2013. That commitment held true until Strong left for Texas which put Harkless’ plans up in the air. Throughout the entire process, defensive line coach Brad Lawing and former wide receivers coach Joker Phillips kept in touch with him and it paid off. Harkless decommitted from Louisville and committed to Florida on January 5th, then enrolled at UF January 8th.
Harkless hails from nearby Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, the same high school Gators safety Nick Washington attended. At Trinity Christian, Harkless played along both the defensive and offensive lines as well as basketball. The 6-5, 282 pounder stood out as an offensive lineman, earning Class 3A First Team Offense honors his senior season. He also helped the Conquerors to the FHSAA Class 3A State Championship that year.
His senior season helped him move up in the recruiting rankings. Harkless ended up as the 72nd offensive tackled, 177th player in Florida, and the 811th player in the country, earning a three-star rating, according to 247Sports composite rankings. He decided to come to Florida because of Louisville’s coaching situation, although the Gators hadn’t hired offensive line coach Mike Summers yet. Harkless ended up early enrolling and within the three-day period between committing and enrolling, UF hired Summers.
He may be one of the more overlooked players in the 2014 recruiting class, but Harkless could be one of the first to see some playing time. Taking part in spring practice and having eight months of training and nutrition puts him ahead of the other offensive line signees. Whether he sees the field or not, he’ll provide some much-needed offensive line depth. Kavaris Harkless wore No. 53 for Trinity Christian Academy, now he wears it for Florida and could be one of the more pleasant surprises of this year’s freshman class.