Hardin talks commit to Vanderbilt

On Saturday, during Vanderbilt's big prospect cookout event, Cole Hardin became the latest Commodore commitment in the class of 2014. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive lineman from Florence, Ala., had been recruited by the staff for quite some time but just received his official offer a couple of weeks ago after an impressive performance at camp.

On Saturday, during Vanderbilt's big prospect cookout event, Cole Hardin became the latest Commodore commitment in the class of 2014. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive lineman from Florence, Ala., had been recruited by the staff for quite some time but just received his official offer a couple of weeks ago after an impressive performance at camp.

"Actually, after taking the tour and talking with Coach Franklin, I was sold and ready to be a Commodore," Hardin told VandyMania.com. "There's not another college in the country that offers top notch academics and SEC football. There's a lot of excitement in the program right now and that's because of Coach Franklin. I love him and what's he's doing there. The staff didn't lose a single member after the season and I think that speaks a lot about the chemistry they have as a coaching staff.

"They're looking at me to come in and play either guard or center. I've had several talks with Coach Hand. He's a very good coach. I see him as a teacher just as much as I do a coach. I think he's going to be a big asset to me in helping to improve my game."

Hardin had 15 offers, including Vanderbilt's, at the time of his commitment. The four-year starter at Florence High School says now it's time to focus on winning a championship in his senior season.

"I'm glad to have the stress off of me," he said. "I've been wanting to commit to Vanderbilt for awhile. I think we have a great chance to have an outstanding season. We have eight guys on the team who can play at the D-1 level. We should have no problem competing for a region and state championship."

In his junior year, Hardin was selected as part of the Leadership Council which recognizes high academic and athletic achievement. That put Hardin on Vanderbilt's radar and landed his offer with a strong effort at camp.

"When [Vanderbilt] offered me they athletic ability and my measurables like my forty yard dash time," he explained. "They liked the combination of size and physicality.

"It felt great to receive the offer and even better committing. Here in the south everybody knows about Vanderbilt. A degree from there could carry you for the next 50 years of your life. I'd like to go into the business field and Nashville will be a great place for internships. I'm looking forward to living there. Florence is just two hours away. It's a big city, but a clean city and very nice."

Last year was Hardin's first under head coach Jamey DuBose, who took over at Florence after a highly successful stint at Prattville High School. The Falcons finished 7-5 in 2012.

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