Edmond (OK) Santa Fe safety Khari Harding has Oklahoma State bloodlines, but a desire to play in the SEC.
That would happen if Harding (6-2, 205, 4.5) decides to sign with Arkansas, one of three SEC teams that finished ranked in the top five nationally last season and a school that he visited Saturday.
"The SEC is the best conference in the country and my favorite one," Harding said. "Arkansas has offered me and is one of the best programs in the SEC and you can see why with the facilities they have, the ones they are going to have and their great fans."
Harding was one of over 50 prospects in the 2013 class – including teammate Trevan Smith - that took in the Red's 65-0 thrashing of the White in the Razorbacks' final scrimmage of the spring.
The Red-White game drew a school-record crowd of 45,250, the third largest gathering of fans in college football so far this spring.
"This is a great atmosphere and you can see how much they love their team even when they don't have a head coach right now," Harding said. "I am sure they are going to get a great one and I am in no hurry to make a decision anyway."
Harding is the son of former Oklahoma State linebacker Corey Harding and the nephew of former Cowboys' defensive lineman Rodney Harding.
"Oklahoma State has not offered me yet, but obviously I would have some interest if they do," Harding said. "Same with Oklahoma."
Like his family before him, Harding likes to stick his nose in and make tackles.
"I am not scared to hit anybody," Harding said. "I love to stick my head in there and make a play. I feel like I need to work on my speed a little bit and the movement in my ankles."
He had 71 tackles last season and three interceptions, one he took to the house for a score.
Harding already has offers from Arkansas, Kansas State, Indiana, Houston, Wyoming, Oregon State and Wyoming.
He has also drawn interest from all three major Oklahoma colleges as well as Missouri, Nebraska, Arizona State and Iowa State.
"I'm not really sure what I am going to do yet," Harding said. "I am kind of wanting to see what all other schools are interested in me."
Arkansas assistant coach Chris Klenakis is heading up Harding's recruitment as the school gets ready to name a new head coach to replace the ousted Bobby Petrino.
"Coach Klenakis, he's pretty cool," Harding said. "I call him all the time and we have a great relationship. I know they are going to hire a great coach."
Harding feels like Edmond Santa Fe can have a big 2012 season.
"We went 10-2 last season and made it to the second round of the playoffs," Harding said. "I think this year we can be even better. We have a lot of skill guys coming back. We have just got to find some guys on the offensive and defensive lines."
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