The professional football player widely known as Percy Harvin was actually born William Percival Harvin III in May of 1988 and adopted the nickname Percy as short for his middle name Percival at a young age. Harvin went onto garner national attention as a standout player for the University of Florida (UF) Gators football program where he was an offensive weapon that helped the college win two national championships. After being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in April of 2009 Percy has enjoyed the entirety of his pro football career in the National Football League (NFL) with the Minneapolis based Minnesota Vikings.
Long before becoming one of the favorite receiving targets for future hall of fame quarterback Brett Favre Percy grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia where he excelled in athletics at Landstown High School. In 2004 the Landstown Eagles, his school football team, won a Virginia state championship. Interestingly with a high school state championship in 2004 and college national championships in 2006 and 2008 Harvin nearly won championships at the high school, college, and professional levels in a five year span before the Vikings suffered an overtime loss that resulted in the team being knocked out of the NFL playoffs one game shy of reaching the Super Bowl. A little known fact is that years before even winning a high school football championship Percy was part of a Pop Warner football team at the age of 13 that actually won the Pop Warner National Championship.
At 5’11” Harvin has always been considered a bit undersized and has also always been considered one of the fastest players on the football field. Percy reportedly ran a 40 yard dash in 4.32 seconds as a freshman in high school. A 40 time at that speed would be considered one of the fastest even by NFL combine standards. In February of 2009 at the NFL Combine Harvin was timed in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.41 seconds.
As a track and field star Percy set five state track and field records and won state championships in the 200 meter dash, triple jump, long jump, 400 meter relay, and 100 meter dash. The success Harvin had on the track was unprecedented as no one in the state of Virginia had ever before won five state championships in a single track meet.
The unrivaled speed that Harvin demonstrated on the grid iron, track, and even the basketball court made him one of the most coveted high school recruits in the nation. In 2005 Percy was nationally recognized by respected football recruiting publications as being the top junior prospect in the country. Ultimately Harvin decided to play college football for the University of Florida over competing scholarship offers from perceived front runner Florida State University as well as the University of Miami, University of Southern California, and the University of Michigan.