Percy Harvin started five times as a true freshman in 2006 and played in 13 of Florida's 14 games, missing only the game against Alabama due to a high ankle sprain suffered against Kentucky. Percy Harvin finished tied for third on the team with 34 receptions and scored two touchdowns (one against Central Florida, one in the SEC Championship Game against Arkansas ). Percy Harvin also ran the ball 41 times for 428 yards and four touchdowns. His 10.4 yards per rush average would have led the nation if he'd had enough attempts to qualify. His breakout game came in the SEC Championship Game, when he led Florida with 105 yards rushing and had two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) to win game MVP honors. He followed that up in Florida's win over Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game, when he was the team's leading rusher with 60 yards and had a team-high nine receptions. He won the 2006 SEC Freshman of the Year Award.
Percy Harvin started 10 times in 11 games as a sophomore, but missed games against South Carolina and Florida Atlantic due to illness. He still had 3 games with more than 100 yards rushing and four games with more than 100 yards receiving. He finished the season with 59 receptions for 858 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 83 rushing attempts for 764 yards and six touchdowns, leading the nation with 9.2 yards per rush. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which went to Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech. He capped off the season by running for 165 yards and catching nine passes for 77 yards in a losing effort against Michigan in the Capital One Bowl. He was a first team All-SEC selection as an all-purpose player and a first team All-America selection by The Sporting News.
In 2008, Harvin was officially listed as a running back, but continued to be a threat in the receiving game as well. He ran for 660 yards and 10 touchdowns, while leading the nation with 9.4 yards per rush. He also caught 40 passes for 644 yards and seven touchdowns. He missed the season opener against Hawaii with an injured heel, but rebounded to score at least one touchdown in each of Florida's next 11 games. His 16 total touchdowns led the Gators. In Florida's only regular season loss in 2008, against Mississippi, he had 10 rushes for 82 yards and 13 receptions for a career-best 186 yards.
Harvin suffered a twisted ankle against Florida State and was forced to miss the 2008 SEC Championship Game, in which Florida defeated previously unbeaten Alabama. Harvin returned for the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma, where he had 122 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine attempts. Harvin also caught five passes for 49 yards, helping the Gators win their second national championship in three seasons.
Harvin was selected in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Harvin was expected to make his debut at a rookie mini-camp during the first weekend in May. However, he became ill on his flight from Florida to Minnesota. After vomiting during a stopover in Atlanta, Harvin was hospitalized with extreme dehydration. Harvin did not participate in the mini-camp but was released from the hospital two days later. Harvin again had physical trouble later in the summer, getting sent home from the NFL's Rookie Symposium due to illness.
Harvin missed the first two days of training camp while negotiating a contract, but eventually signed a five-year/$14.28M contract with Minnesota and reported to camp. The contract includes $8.5M in guaranteed money.
Harvin made his NFL debut in Week 1 of the 2009 season, catching Brett Favre's first touchdown pass as a Viking. He caught at least two passes in each of his first 12 NFL games. Harvin earned offensive rookie of the month honors in November, catching 19 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns. Harvin missed the Week 14 game against the Bengals due to migraines. He returned in Week 15 but was held to a career-low one catch. Harvin finished the 2009 season with 60 receptions for 790 yards and six touchdowns. He tied for the NFL lead among rookies in receptions and receiving yards, and his 60 receptions were the second-most by a rookie in Vikings history, behind Randy Moss. Harvin won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He was also added to the Pro Bowl roster as a kick returner.
In the 2009 playoffs, Harvin caught a total of six passes for 39 yards during the Vikings two games. He suffered migraines in the week leading up to the 2009 NFC Championship Game, but was able to play in the game. Harvin had one of Minnesota's six fumbles in the loss to the Saints.