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Undrafted Rookie Harvey Impressed At Mini-Camp

Redskins rookie offensive lineman Jasper Harvey goes out of his way to make two things abundantly clear.

First of all, he's not related to Ken Harvey, the former Pro Bowl linebacker and one of the Redskins' 70 Greatest.

Second, he knows full well the significance of the number he's been assigned: No. 56.

In the June 16-18 mini-camp at Redskin Park, Harvey, the 6-3, 305-pound undrafted free agent out of San Diego State, was one of 16 offensive lineman on hand.

Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel basically knows who his starting five will be for the Sept. 11 opener versus Minnesota at FedExField. In mini-camp, training camp and the four preseason games, Bugel will be looking to find depth behind Chris Samuels, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Randy Thomas and Jon Jansen.

One young player who caught the eye of the assistant head coach-offense in mini-camp workouts was Harvey.

"We think he can compete at guard or center," said Bugel. "He has a powerful burst, and he's pretty smart for a young player."

Of course, a famous linebacker who used to wear No. 56 has since moved on to another NFC East team. The rookie offensive line hopeful out of San Diego State makes no false claims about being the next in line to don that jersey for the Redskins.

Harvey put it this way, smiling as he did so: "Look, I know I'm not LaVar Arrington. Everybody's been telling me that. He did a lot of great things for this team's defense over the years. Maybe some day, I'll be able to do something for the offense."

One of the things he learned in mini-camp, he admitted, is this: "Boy, you know, the NFL game is really fast."

Harvey learned that lesson the hard way. In one mini-camp sequence, as he tried to get a block for his running back, Harvey took a spill and tumbled head over heels. Ladell Betts had just about run up his back.

For the most part, though, Harvey, the 23-year-old out of Marrero, Louisiana, stood up well in his first NFL action. He's from the same New Orleans-area town as Ryan Clark, the former Redskins defensive back who has moved on to the Steelers.

As a senior in 2005, he started all 12 games at center and earned a spot in the Las Vegas All-American Classic. In 2003, Harvey started all 12 contests in his first year at center for the Aztecs and was the only offensive lineman on the team who did not yield a sack.

Another undrafted San Diego State lineman, Chris Pino, is on the Redskins' roster this offseason.

In terms of his college career, Harvey showed consistent progress but also was forced to sit out the 2004 season at San Diego State as a result of penalties stemming from a campus hazing incident.

This summer, he'll be trying to impress Joe Bugel and land one of the backup jobs along the Redskins' offensive line, which in 2006 will be missing both Ray Brown and Cory Raymer.

Don't be shocked if you see this new No. 56 in training camp. He's neither LaVar Arrington nor one of Ken Harvey's relatives.

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