David Harding was ranked by Scout.com as the 45th best offensive tackle in the nation, making him one of UCF's most highly touted recruits. With offers, from the Knights, Florida St, Georgia Tech, Duke, South Carolina and around a dozen more schools, Harding his share of options, and after carefully weighing out his options, the Boone H.S. product (Orlando, Florida) decided to head north for college.
"I decided today that I would go to Duke," Harding told InsideKnights.com. "It was a real close decision, but it just came down to a gut feeling, I felt that God was pulling me towards Duke, even though I couldn't find anything wrong with UCF."
Harding had narrowed his choices down to UCF, Duke and South Carolina, but ultimately decided that Duke fit him best.
"I chose Duke because of the great education I can get there, and that I feel that Coach Cutcliffe can turn the program around." Harding is a bright young man who is well spoken and maintains a 4.3 GPA, and has friends that have also decided to attend Duke.
Although the Knights couldn't land Harding, the talented tackle had nothing but good things to say about UCF.
"I love UCF so much and have complete respect for the program and all the coaches; Coach (Tom) Freeman, Coach (George) O'Leary, even Coach (Steve) Rubio the recruiting coordinator, they were all great. I've been to a lot of practices and admire UCF. The weight staff is great and I just wish everyone there the best of luck."
While Harding has been blessed by his recruiting experience, he is also relieved to be able to focus on the season.
"I had a great time with recruiting but it was hectic and I never thought I'd receive this much attention, but now I'm glad it's over."
Recruiting isn't officially over until February, but Harding seems confident with his decision.
"I think I'm set. I try to be honest and I think I'll stay with Duke as long as they keep their word. If they do that, then I plan on sticking with them."
UCF has already received commitments from three talented offensive linemen for the 2009 class in Samuel Johnson, Renato Cunha, and Evan Swindall, but the Knights still would have loved to add Harding. The Knights are still in contention for other linemen such as Steve Green and Cody Bohler.
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