Edmond, Okla.—With Auburn moving to a 4-2-5 defense that will feature three safeties in the secondary, there is no doubt that Coach Gus Malzahn and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson are looking for help right away at the position. One of the players that is climbing up the recruiting board for the Tigers is physical safety Khari Harding from Santa Fe High.
A commitment to Arkansas since June, the 6-2, 205 Harding has started looking around with the coaching changes for both the Razorbacks and several other schools around the country. Recently getting an offer from Auburn and getting to know the defensive coaching staff after hearing from Malzahn while he was at Arkansas State, Harding said on Friday night he got the opportunity to talk to Johnson and secondary coaches Charlie (Cheese) Harbison and Melvin Smith.
"It went good," Harding tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "They talked to me about coming down there on Jan. 18th (official visit). They were just telling me how good the coaching staff is and how they teach things. Coach Cheese told me how he teaches the details.
"The other coaches talked to me and told me they are Christians, but when they get on me they're going to get on me. It was just them being real. They were just telling me how they can't wait to see me on the 18th."
A three-star prospect by Scout.com and the number 45 safety in the nation, Harding said that with Auburn's need at his position and with the Tigers playing three guys it makes them an intriguing possibility for him. Just learning more about this coaching staff and what they are like, he added that he's got some idea of what Auburn football is all about.
"I don't know a whole bunch," Harding said. "I know they should have gone to the championship when they went 13-0 with Jason Campbell and Ronnie Brown and Cadillac. Takeo Spikes went to Auburn. Cam Newton went there too. I don't know a whole lot about Auburn. I'm ready to learn more."
Still committed to the Razorbacks, Harding said he plans to visit Arizona State on Jan. 11 in addition to his Auburn visit on the 18th. He noted he's also still looking at Kansas State and Oregon State as well.