Surrounded by family members, Vikings first-round pick Percy Harvin made a very good first impression as he met the media today at Winter Park. Harvin answered questions by looking people directly in the eye and said all the right things. Harvin will now return to Florida and then come back to the Twin Cities on Thursday to get ready for next weekend’s minicamp.
A bit of background. Harvin, as all Vikings fans know by now, comes here with plenty of baggage in his past. Nearly all of it is from his high school days — although he reportedly did test positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine — and he admits he did not handle things very well at times back then. Harvin’s mother, step father and sister were all at Winter Park to support him and Harvin made it clear he will bring his sister to town to help him adjust to life in Minnesota. He also plans to make sure his parents have a place to come if they want to spend time here.
Q. Are you going to move your family here?
A. “They will definitely move here. I don’t know if they will stay every single day but they’ll definitely have a place to come in and out. Probably, most likely, my sister will probably come here with me just to help me get started and help me stay straight. She’ll definitely be here. Mom will have an apartment or something here and will come in periodically.”
Q. How important is that support system?
A. “It’s everything to me. Them moving to Florida when I got there [from high school in Virginia]. They helped me mature a lot and I plan on keeping it that way.”
Q. What were the reasons for your problems in high school?
A. “I think a lot of it was me not knowing how to handle things. A lot of times I was wrong. Some of the times I was right. But the times I was right I didn’t know how to sit down and kind of express myself. I kind of would blow up and the next thing you know it turns into disrespect and all that when I was just trying to get my point across. Just growing up I’ve learned how to sit down and talk things out and a lot of my problems were little things that started off as something minor but it was me blowing up, just being so defensive. A lot of it was wrong, some of it was right. But I’ve grown from all that and I look forward to moving on.”
Q. Have you found a way to deal with your anger?
A. “It wasn’t quite that. It was me, when I first got to Florida I didn’t trust a lot of people. So a lot of times, I could get mad on a Monday and I don’t express myself Monday because I know if I try to it’s going to lead to something else. So the next Thursday I’d end up doing something and I’m blowing up over that and what I was mad at Monday. I just was holding a lot of stuff in. My junior year [in college] and up to now, I’ve learned to just face things and I haven’t had any incidents even close to any of the things in high school. Like I said in the [press] conference, my junior year and up to now are probably the best years of my life.”
Q. You aren’t even 21 years old yet. Do people forget that about you?
A. “I think the people who have sat down and gotten to know me have understood that I don’t go into meetings saying, ‘Hey, I’m only 20.’ I understand a lot of the things I did was totally wrong. If I could rewind it back to where I am now, I could have dealt with half of those things and [they] would have been knocked out when it was. But I didn’t know how to handle things at the times. Now, I’m 100 percent better. Haven’t had any incidents like that. I’m feeling good and I’m ready to roll.”