San Jose State is expected to receive a local recruiting boost from running backs coach Alonzo Carter, and recently he went back to his old stomping grounds for a late addition to the 2017 recruiting class.
Hadari Darden, a linebacker at Contra Costa College, went the junior college route after being deemed a late qualifier in 2016 at Moreau Catholic High School.
“The main reason I picked Contra Costa over San Mateo and San Francisco colleges was because of the recruiter that Coach Carter was,” Darden said. “He put trust in me that I would get to the next level.”
National Signing Day came and went a second straight year without Darden signing a letter of intent, but he reconnected with Carter shortly after. Within a week of his offer from SJSU, Darden decided to commit.
“I think it’s cool that San Jose State is far enough to be on my own,” Darden said, “but close enough - an hour away from Berkeley, my hometown, to still be close enough to my parents and look over my little sister. I think it’s a great opportunity being that I received the offer from a local university.”
The 6-foot-3 and 213-pound athlete credits his versatility and his football IQ as his strengths on the field. Darden will likely fit into San Jose State’s new defense as an outside linebacker, he said.
Due to his proximity to SJSU, Darden had the opportunity to watch the Spartans practice in person.
Said Darden, “Coach Carter is a very exciting and vocal guy, but I also noticed that that Coach Bojay, my position coach, is relatively young and brings an exciteful love for the game. It’s cool because I see something brewing that I can be a part of there.”
Darden plans to join the Spartans this fall with four years to play three seasons of eligibility. He intends to major in broadcasting at SJSU.