One of several standouts from the talent pool area of Leighton, the 6-1, 207-pounder with 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash chose the Tigers over several others and says it was really an easy choice in the end.
"I made my decision yesterday," Harden tells Inside The Auburn Tigers on Tuesday. "That's where I wanted to go, but I just had to wait and make sure it was right."
A two-year starter at both fullback and outside linebacker, Harden has been getting significant playing time since his 8th grade season for the Indians. That amount of playing time has added up to a seasoned football player that had offers from some of the top teams in the country.
"I chose Auburn over Mississippi State and Georgia," Harden notes. "I was also hearing from Nebraska, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Alabama and UAB. I just like the tradition at Auburn and I like the campus up there a lot."
Playing both ways, Harden was one of the major reasons why the Indians advanced all the way to the state championship game last fall in Class 3A before falling to juggernaut T.R. Miller 38-6 in the final game. In the game he rushed for 30 yards on just six carries and also had several tackles on defense despite T.R. Miller running away from him most of the night. Colbert County finished with a record of 12-3 and looks for bigger and better things this season.
"We haven't won any state championships yet (since he's been playing), but we've played in two," Harden says. "That's my biggest goal this year."
A standout in track and basketball in addition to his football duties, Harden led the Indians to the state finals in track last year running the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4x10. Playing power forward and center last season on the basketball team, he was second on the team in scoring.
Harden joins junior college linebacker Greg Wilkerson and Fort Payne defensive back Marcus Carter and North Jackson safety Blake Shrader as players who have announced they plan to play for the Tigers in 2004. All have one thing in common--they can run, and that has been a main point of emphasis for Coach Tommy Tuberville and his staff since they arrived five years ago.