Fred Harvey Was All American, I-AA Player of the Year at Eastern Kentucky, All-State at THS
By Dr. Jim Palermo // May 8, 2018
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME 2018 INDUCTEE
ABOVE VIDEO: Fred Harvey Was All American, I-AA Player of the Year at Eastern Kentucky, All-State at THS.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Despite a stellar high school football career as a linebacker and defensive anchor for the Titusville Terriers in the late 1970s-early 1980s, Fred Harvey Jr. was not recruited by the “Big-Name” college programs.
Florida Gator coach Charlie Pell and Miami Hurricane coach Howard Schnellenberger told legendary Terrier head coach Al Werneke that Fred was “not tall enough” to play linebacker for them.
“As a sophomore, Fred was a skinny 160 pounds, but it was evident early on that he had that ‘spark’ and football instincts that most great defensive players have,” said Merrill Worden, Terrier defensive coordinator and Harvey’s linebacker coach.
“He was 180 pounds as a junior, and 5-foot 10-inches and 190 to 200 pounds his senior season – he was a natural at the linebacker position and always meticulously prepared for game-day.”
Harvey was a three-year starter at Titusville High School, an All-State selection and Florida Today Defensive Player of the Year in his junior and senior seasons, and a member of the Orlando Sentinel All-Time All-Brevard County team.
He also played varsity basketball his sophomore, junior and senior years.
Werneke knew Harvey had what it takes to excel at the next level and sent the then coach of the power-house Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) Colonels, Roy Kidd, game film of Harvey in action.
Unbeknownst to Fred, Coach Kidd made a trip to Titusville the day before National Signing Day in February of 1982 to meet with and offer him a scholarship to play at EKU. The rest is history.
EKU ALL CENTURY TEAM
Harvey made the traveling squad as a freshman, but most of his playing time that season was limited to kick-off coverage. Adding an inch in height and several pounds in muscle, Coach Kidd’s hunch that Harvey would have a significant impact on EKU football came to fruition when, as a sophomore, he took over as a starter and garnered second-team All-American honors.
As captain and signal-caller for the Colonel’s defense he holds the school record for tackles in a single season (182) and career (503).
Harvey was selected as a first-team All American his senior season by Kodak, Associated Press, The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation, and named the 1986 The Football News I-AA Defensive Player of the Year.
Harvey was a two-time Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Defensive Player of the Year in 1984 and 1986 and was chosen as the 1986-87 OVC Male Athlete of the Year. He was also selected to the All-OVC first team in 1984 and 1986 and chosen in 2009 as one of EKU’s all-time best linebackers on Eastern’s All-Century Football team.
With a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Harvey, who was born and raised in Titusville, came home and worked as a logistics engineer with Rockwell and United Space Alliance for 21 years and now owns and runs a mobile auto detailing business in Titusville.
When asked about the supportive influences that had the most impact on his success as an athlete growing up in Titusville, he said, “It was my mother and father first and then the collective positive attitude of the tight-knit community that encouraged and helped all of us to be the best that we could be.”
His parents, Fred Sr. and Dorothy, have been married 64 years, have 7 children and still make their home in Titusville.
Coach Worden said of Harvey, who helped him coach linebackers at Astronaut High from 2002-2007, “Fred was a tremendous role model for the team and showed the kids that a great athlete can and should be a great person, too.”
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