The offseason has been productive for Starkville High School's Rufus Harvey. That includes the recruiting trail and improvements on the field for the 2020 receiver and 247Sports three-star prospect.
Harvey has managed to increase list of Division 1 offers this spring and summer, which includes the likes of Illinois, Southern Miss, South Alabama and Arkansas State among others. Just as important, he's also focused on making his game better than it was a year ago.
"Coming into my senior year, I'm just trying to find a place that would feel like home," said Harvey, who is rated as the state's No. 29 prospect by 247Sports. "Then on the field, I just try to get better every year and do better than I did the previous year. I want to improve my route running the most this summer and things like that."
This summer Harvey has taken in several area camps on college campuses, including a pair of camp appearances at Mississippi State. One of those showings at Mississippi State produced a new offer from another Division 1 program that was on hand for the 7-on-7 camp in Starkville. He also noted of the steady SEC interest he's received from a pair of in-state programs.
"I recently got an offer from Arkansas State," said the 5-foot-10 and 167-pound Harvey. "Then I'm getting good interest from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Memphis. And so far I've been to Southern Miss this summer, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and that's been about it.
"Ole Miss has been telling me to be patient and said they're not taking as many receivers this year. So they want me to be patient and Mississippi State has said the same thing about being patient."
Harvey made the short trip across town to Mississippi State again on Thursday. While he didn't camp, it was another opportunity to be around head coach Joe Moorhead and his staff.
"Me and Coach Moorhead have a good relationship and he's a pretty cool guy," Harvey said. "He is a great head coach and he tells me that it is still early in recruiting and for me to be patient. I hear that from some schools and I handle it pretty good. I'm a patient guy and I can wait it out. But it would be great feeling to be able to stay at home for college and play for my home school."
While Harvey remains "patient" on the recruiting scene, his top focus is helping the Jackets add another state title to the resume. As a junior Harvey totaled 53 catches for 957 yards and eight touchdowns. But as a team, Starkville fell short in the postseason and saw their season end against eventual Class 6A state champion Horn Lake.
"We're more serious about it than we were last year," said Harvey. "We were more laid back last year but now we're serious. We lost some guys on offense but we still have some playmakers back. I think we'll still have a pretty good team."