Harding intrigued by Sun Devils

With Arkansas in the midst of a head coaching search, Razorbacks' pledge Khari Harding is exploring other possibilities. One school that came calling this week on the Edmond (Okla.) safety is Arizona State, and Harding told Devils Digest that his visit with Sun Devils' Defensive Coordinator Paul Randolph was a very informative and enjoyable experience.

"I like Arizona State, Kansas State and Oregon State, Arkansas and Texas Tech," Harding said. "Those are my top five now but not in any order. I would say I'm a soft verbal to Arkansas, because I want to see who their head coach will be and see then what I want to do. I guess they will have somebody there in two weeks."

The safety didn't take any visits to date other than to Arkansas, but after meeting with Randolph on Monday he is seriously considering an official trip to Tempe in mid-January.

"The meeting went very well, he's a very energetic and enthused person," Harding described. "He told me about the campus, how they have their practices in the morning so you can go to class later in the day and how that worked with the team's GPA going up. I also got see what the new stadium will look like.

"I want to major in business and their school is one of the top in the country. That's something that I like a lot."

The 6-2 205-pound Khari Harding said that after watching how the Sun Devil defense plays he liked the versatility in their scheme and thinks his skills could suit that system.

"Coach Randolph told me that they run multiple alignments on defenses," Harding remarked. "A lot of man coverage (in the secondary) but also some zone. When I watch them on TV I liked how they played a lot of freshmen and how hard that defense played. They had a good season at 7-5 and they are going to a bowl.

"Coach said that I had a chance to come in and play right away at strong safety. I think I can play at free safety too, but everybody wants me to play at strong safety. I'm always around the ball and if a play needs to be made I'll get there. I have good speed and good strength – I don't let anybody toss me around there. I have good vision too. Being that I'm a quarterback I do a lot of studying off the field. I need to work more on my (pursuit) angles and I can get a little faster because I run a 4.5-4.6."

Harding reported weight room marks of 400 lbs. squatting and 275 lbs. benching.

The safety indicated that regardless of who Arkansas hires, he still plans to visit ASU and possibly Oregon State as well.

"I just want to get a feel for all the staffs and see what is the best place for me," Harding stated. "Education is important. I want to a good program, that has good facilities. It's important for me to be in a family environment because those are the coaches and players you're going to be around for four years. I want to go to a place where the players would come up to me and say: ‘how are you doing?' instead of the coach telling them to come say hi to me."

Click here for Khari Harding's highlights.


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