Linebacker Courtney Harden from Colbert County High had a tough senior season filled with injuries, but says that he's anxious to get to Auburn this weekend and meet some of his future teammates.
"Everything is still good with Auburn," Harden tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm hearing from some other schools like Vanderbilt, but that's about it. I just like Auburn because they have a good returning team for the next few years and it's going to be a good place for me to go."
Heading into his senior season Harden was one of the top players in North Alabama for one of the top programs. Things started out great as his play at fullback and linebacker were one of the major reasons why the Indians got on an early roll, but it wouldn't last for Harden. Late in the regular season he injured a knee and was done for the year. He says it made his senior season one he would like to forget.
"It was very disappointing," the 6-1, 215-pound Harden says. "I only played in seven games. I tore my ACL and some cartilage and I strained my MCL. I'm about 85 percent now and it's getting better."
Many players talk about early playing time as a reason for choosing a school, but in Harden's case that's not even in the picture at this time. Trying to get as healthy as possible before next fall is all he's concerned with at the moment.
"I would like to play early," he says, "but all I'm really concerned about is rehabbing my knee and getting back to 100 percent. I want to do that so I can at least try to get some playing time."
Harden will get an early start on his Auburn career when he comes to campus next summer for classes in order to get a jump on his academics. He says there is another big reason why he wants to get to the Plains as early as possible and that's because of the training staff available to him when he enrolls. Harden plans to start school in June and hopes to be full speed when the Tigers begin two-a-days in August.