Sun Devils Intriguing to Harding

ASU recruiting efforts in the state of Texas have been well documented, but the Sun Devils are certainly exploring other recruiting options in that region. Jenks (Okla.) standout Dylan Harding is one such prospect, and thus far the safety has been receptive to one of his newest suitors.

"It is a beautiful campus, and I heard it is an awesome school, great education, and the football program is good," Harding said of Arizona State, "so I haven't heard any negatives about it only positives. I haven't taken any visits yet so it's tough to say specific things I like or dislike about it hopefully one day I can go down and visit.

"I hear about them a lot. It is not a team that I just skip over if I am watching TV. I have definitely watched their games before."

Arizona State defensive coordinator Paul Randolph and safeties coach Chris Ball have both been down to Jenks High School to watch Harding's spring practices. The safety indicated that the Sun Devils initiated contact earlier in the year and that the scholarship offer came during his school's spring practice when the recruiting attention intensified.

The 6-2 185-pound Dylan Harding will enter this season as a three-year starter at safety, and posted 65 tackles and six interceptions and 65 tackles as a junior. Harding was named All-State honorable mention as well as Academic All-Conference in 2012.

"The (ASU) Coaches like my physicality," Harding stated, "and my tackling. They also like how I can make plays when the ball is in the air. Most coaches want me to play strong safety, play down at the box but I don't know once I get to college if I would play a different position.

"I am not the biggest guy on the planet, but I'm a good tackler and I seem to get the bigger guys down pretty easily. I am pretty quick on the break (reported a 40-time of 4.51) and I can re-route receivers because of my coverage. Something I would like to get better at is press coverage. We don't play that (scheme) as much at Jenks and colleges tend to play that more."

Aside from Arizona State, Colorado State, Memphis, North Carolina, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Texas San Antonia, Toledo, and Tulsa have all extended offers. The safety admitted that he was hoping to get offers from hometown schools Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

"I need to talk to my dad about taking visits to schools," Harding noted. "He already told me he would like to visit, so if he wants to take a trip down there, we probably will. I visited North Carolina. I was down there for spring break. It was kind of an ironic deal where I had planned to have a trip to North Carolina and two days prior one of the coaches there wanted me to call him so I visited then.

"I have already visited Oklahoma State and Tulsa. I think one campus I would like to visit is Kansas State. They have not offered yet but they are highly interested."

Harding has no timetable for a decision, mainly because he wants for the "dust to settle" first and see what additional offers the off-season will bring. He does plan to narrow down his list of favorites before the season starts.

"I think I would commit right before or right after my senior season," Harding said. "I am going to wait see which school I think first me the best. All I know is that I don't want to make that decision in the middle of my senior season.

"The biggest thing for me is the relationship with the coach. How the coach is and how the players respond to him as a coach. I want to go to a campus that feels like home and a place where the people around me welcoming. I will choose a school where I feel is the best place for me."


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