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Jalen Harvey, who started his college career at Syracuse, recently committed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program. 

The 6-foot-2, 315-pound defensive tackle, who prepped at Clay-Chalkville High School in Alabama, redshirted in his only season with the Orange, then decided to transfer back home to be closer to family. He played the 2015 season at Northwest Mississippi Junior College, a team that won the National Junior College Athletic Association title.

The Rangers were 11-1 in 2015, defeating second-ranked Rochester 66-13 in the title game. 

Harvey had 40 tackles — 7.5 for loss — and 3.5 sacks. All of his sacks came in a 26-10 win over ninth-ranked Gulf Coast on Sept. 9. His commitment is non-binding, but he would become only the second junior college player in the seven-year career of head coach Russ Huesman to play for the Mocs.

"My family and I really like coach Huesman," Harvey said Sunday. "I wanted to play for a team that wanted me and needed me. Plus it's only two hours away from the house so that made it even better."

He was a consensus two-star recruit coming out of high school that originally committed to South Alabama before switching to Western Kentucky. Syracuse came into the process late, and Harvey watched the Orange's basketball game against Duke in 2014 in the Carrier Dome with 35,445 other fans and immediately chose to attend the Atlantic Coast Conference program. 

He also plays with something to prove.

"I work hard and I keep that chip on my shoulder," Harvey said in a 2014 interview with Lisa Nelson of SB Nation. "A lot of schools overlooked me, and in my opinion I'm better than some of those five stars.

"I'm trying to be better than every five-star in my class."

Harvey plans to enroll at UTC in the fall, and becomes the 10th commit for the 2016 signing class.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

 

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