David Harding is one of the top offensive line prospects in central Florida for the 2009 recruiting class. The 6'4" 270 pound Harding helped lead his team to the 6A title game last fall, where he dominated some of the top defensive players in the state. Schools have taken notice, and today he received an offer from Florida State.
"I got offered from Florida State today. Coach Trickett was at the school and he told my coach that I have a full scholarship offer from the Seminoles. I'm really excited about the offer. My family is excited about it too. I am definitely pleased and it is going to make me work harder as I head into my senior season. It is an exciting time for me. I hadn't heard from FSU in a while leading up to today. I've been getting some nice mail from them, so today was just surprising. I didn't know the offer was going to come so quickly. The offer solidifies their spot in my top 5 for sure."
While David wasn't able to speak to Coach Trickett, he was able to find out through his coach why the Seminoles extended the offer.
"I didn't get the chance to speak to Coach Trickett because they can't talk to me yet. He told my coach that he was happy to see that I am doing well and that as long as I keep working on my leg strength I should be good to go. I'm definitely excited about the offer and I have high interest in the program. It's my first in-state offer and I like what Coach Trickett is doing at FSU. I like what he does and I think I fit his system with my quickness. Now it is just getting to know each other more and building the relationship I have with the coaches at FSU."
The offer for Harding means a lot, and it keeps the Seminoles in his top 5 list. David talked to NoleDigest about that list, a list that has a surprising leader at this time.
"I do have a top 5 right now." They are:
Vanderbilt: "They are my top school right now and I stay in contact with Coach Kaiser a lot. One of my teammates is going there next year, and they have excellent academics. The academics and the fact they are in the SEC are top of the line."
Duke: "Again, I like their academics. I talk to Coach Collins on the phone. They have the new staff that is bringing in an emphasis on winning. I made the visit there last fall and I loved the campus and all that."
Florida: "They've been my favorite schools since I was a kid. My old teammate Jeremy Brown goes there and it would be cool to play with him again. I like the competitive nature going on there."
Florida State: "It is in-state and they have offered me. I love what Trickett is doing. He is a cool guy, and they have the winning's coach of all time in Bobby Bowden. I've heard they get after it really hard in practice and they have a winning tradition. FSU is a school that I am defiantly interested in."
UCF: "Mainly it is just close to home."
The offer from FSU is Harding's 4th official offer. He says that the interest is starting to heat up now that the coaches can make visits, and he expects more visits to come in soon.
"My other offers are from Purdue, Southern Mississippi and Syracuse. I'm getting a lot of interest from Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Iowa State and Syracuse. I've been talking to the coaches at USF and Kentucky a lot and think they'll come soon."
With the offer in hand, Harding says that he plans on making a visit to FSU pretty soon. He made a visit last year for the UAB game, but now he wants to come in and give the Noles are serious look.
"There are no plans right now for me to trip up there, but now that they've offered me it makes me want to get up there soon. I can see myself playing there more now that I got the offer, so I want to go there and see just how I fit in with the coaches and the players. I want it to be more of a serious look than just going to see the facilities and hang out on a visit."
While David has a top 5 list, don't look for him to make a visit anytime soon. He says with the options starting to build up, he wants to make sure he can get a chance to check out the schools he is interested in. While other schools may come in, he says it'll be hard for other schools to break into his top list.
"With the interest and offers coming in I am getting a broader viewpoint of this process. As schools come I can begin to look at them and see if I like them. Right now my top 5 list is pretty strong and I can see myself playing at any of those schools. There are a few schools that could come in and change the list like Auburn and Tennessee. If they offer, UCF would be the school that I'd remove from my top 5 at this time."
"I don't have an offer that screams out and that makes me want to commit right now. I do see myself deciding early, though. But I want to make sure I take visits with these school with the mindset that they have offered me. I don't want to make the decision to quickly and I want to ensure I learn what I can about each of these schools."
At this time David doesn't have any plans to make trips to camps. He has an idea of what he wants to do, but nothing is set in stone at this time.
"I'm either going to camp at Florida State or Florida. It just depends on the timing of when the camps are. I will be up in North Carolina when Duke has their camp, but I am not sure yet if I will be able to make the camp. We'll see what happens with it."
Look for the Seminoles to be a major player for Harding throughout the process. He said that if Florida came calling with an offer he'll treat it the same as the offer from FSU. Therefore look for David to visit each of his favorite schools before a decision is made. If the standout lineman visits the Noles for camp, look for them to possibly push towards the top of his list.