In the first scrimmage heading into his junior season at River Valley High School in Caledonia, Ohio, junior Jax Harville took a big hit and knew something was wrong.
“It was pretty bad,” he recalled. “I was supposed to be the starting quarterback as a junior, but I missed the entire year with a shoulder injury.”
Harville had surgery to repair a broken left humerus, and the initial disappointment was completely understandable.
“It was hard, definitely,” he said. “Watching the team play after you worked all summer to get ready and all of the sudden it’s slipped out from under you, and there’s nothing you can do about it, it was tough to deal with.”
In time, Harville began making the most of a difficult situation. “It was my non-throwing arm, so that was good,” he said. “And I learned some different things from that position than I would have starting at quarterback. I tried to focus in on the mental side of the game versus the physical side. That helped me in different ways. But it was hard, for sure.”
The road back
In late January of his junior year at River Valley, Harville was healthy and able to start gearing up for his senior season. “I was extremely motivated,” he said. “There was a little unfinished business to take care of.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder went out and had a big senior year this past season, passing for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns while helping the Vikings to a 6-4 record. “I was just happy with the experience of being on the field and staying injury free all year,” Harville said.
When Harville took his final snap for River Valley, his football career did not come to an end. Last month, he committed to play at Ohio Wesleyan University.
“I went for the first visit and I loved it,” Harville said. “I got in touch with the football coaches and let them know I was interested. I went to camps over the summer and did an overnight visit and a game-day visit. When I committed, it was really exciting. It was a long recruiting process because I had two other schools I was interested in. It was a long process, but I think I made the right decision. When it came down to the end, it wasn’t hard. I wasn’t worried I was going to the wrong spot.”
With Dominick Orsini returning for his senior season at Ohio Wesleyan, Harville can ease in as a freshman. “I’ll be able to learn the speed of the college game,” he said. “I’ll be able to get scout team reps against the No. 1 defense, so it will be a huge developmental year to get me ready.”
Harville has been playing quarterback since he was in fourth grade. When he was a freshman, he seriously started thinking about the next level.
“I always kind of thought about it,” Harville said. “But my freshman year, my parents and I sat down and had a discussion on whether I wanted to play college football or not, if that was a goal, and what we needed to do to get there.”
Training for three years with NFA as a young quarterback definitely helped mold Harville and kept his career arrow pointing up.
“The mechanics I learned at NFA camps, it was huge,” Harville said. “My dad (Greg) was an offensive tackle in high school so he didn’t know a lot about throwing mechanics. And the message NFA sent at camps, as a quarterback be the leader, your job is to move the chains, that was something I took to heart. I actually still wear the Passio Bellator bracelet every day.”
When he arrives at Ohio Wesleyan, Harville will study Pre-Med. The straight-A student wants to be an Orthopedic Surgeon.
“It’s going to be hard, but it can be done,” Harville said. “I’ve met a lot of people that have done it. I think with time management skills and things like that, you just know you’ve got to get your work done.”