Mutual Interest Between UNC, Okla. S

Dylan Harding is unsure how North Carolina discovered him, since he plays outside its typical recruiting footprint in the Sooner State. But the 6-foot-2, 180-pound safety from Jenks (Okla.) High is glad the UNC coaching staff did.

"I had gotten a call from one of my coaches on a Wednesday before spring break," Harding said. "He said that [UNC] had started to pick up interest in me. That's where it started, because I hadn't really talked to them before."

As fate would have it, Jenks' baseball team, which Harding is a part of, was taking a trip to North Carolina for a tournament over spring break.

"While I was down there, I went and visited [UNC] and met up with Coach [Vic] Koenning," Harding said. "He gave me a tour of the facilities and I got to see the campus.

"It's kind of like an old style campus; compared to some of the colleges I've visited out here in Oklahoma."

A couple of weeks after returning home from the Tar Heel State, UNC became the latest school to offer Harding. He has also collected offers from Colorado State, Memphis, Texas-San Antonio, and Tulsa.

Despite its proximity, Harding is highly interested in UNC.

"It's definitely in my top schools right now," Harding said. "The visit down there definitely helped out a lot, too. It's pretty high [on my list] right now. It's definitely my top offer – my biggest offer that I have."

Since that initial phone conversation in March, Harding's contact with Koenning has picked up gradually. That includes Koenning making an evaluation visit Jenks High School earlier this week.

"We can talk to each other pretty easily now," Harding said. "He's a good guy. I enjoy talking to him and he's pretty easy to talk to, also.

"He has pretty much told me that they need to sign three safeties and he would love for me to be one of them. And [he told me] if I could come down and do a camp or come down and visit during the summer, he would really like that."

Due to the planning and finances involved, Harding is unsure of the feasibility of making a summer visit to UNC. Even if a summer trip isn't possible, he plans to use one of his five official visits to return to Chapel Hill.

"I love the campus," Harding said. "It's an awesome campus, great environment, and a place I can see myself at in the future. Everything about North Carolina I really like."

Harding believes he'll have a better idea of his summer travel plans – and his general recruiting game plan – after spring football concludes.

"I want to see how things go this spring," Harding said. "Spring ball is when most of the coaches come around and you kind of get a general idea of who's interested in you and what offers you have on the table and what offers could be forthcoming."

Besides UNC, Harding has visited Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Tulsa.

UNC has also offered Harding's teammate and fellow safety Steven Parker, a four-star prospect.

"We have definitely talked about playing together in the future," Harding said. "He's one of my best friends, so every once in a while it gets brought up in the conversation. Of course he has a little more offers than I do and more opportunities."

Harding, who will be a three-year starter at safety this fall, accumulated six interceptions and 65 tackles as a junior.

Dylan Harding Profile

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