UCF Football’s RJ Harvey Announces Return for 2024 Season

by Justin Wilson

After announcing its highest-ranked recruiting class in program history on Wednesday, UCF’s 2024 roster received another significant boost on Thursday as running back RJ Harvey announced that he will return for next season.

Harvey has turned in a special season, headlined by being a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation’s best collegiate running back. Harvey’s historic season has seen the Orlando native rush for 1,296 rushing yards to become the first Knights running back to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a season since Greg McCrae in 2018.


The Orlando native ranks among the top 10 in the Big 12 Conference in every rushing category. He’s second in rushing TDs (16), third in rushing yards (1,296) and rushing yards per game (108.0) and fourth in yards per rush (6.14) and rushing attempts (211).

His 16 rushing touchdowns rank sixth nationally and his 1,296 rushing yards are 12th in the nation.

Harvey tallied five consecutive 100-yard rushing games from the Kansas to Oklahoma State games, becoming just the second running back in program history to accomplish the feat in as many games, joining UCF Hall of Famer Kevin Smith.

He has 42 rushes for at least 10 yards this season, headlined by a 92-yard rush in the win over No. 15 Oklahoma State, which was for the second-longest rushing TD in program history and the longest play of the season in the Big 12.

Harvey was tabbed a College Football Network First Team All-Big 12 selection, second team by Phil Steele and an honorable mention pick by the Big 12 coaches. He is also a Phil Steele All-America Honorable Mention honoree.

UCF will participate in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl where the Knights (6-6) will meet Atlantic Coast Conference member Georgia Tech (6-6) at 6:30 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, in 65,000-seat Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The game will be televised by ESPN.