Andrew Hardin was ready to commit to a college football program just under a month ago. And if the Woodbridge High School senior had done that, he could have signed during the three-day early signing period that began Wednesday.
Instead Vikings head coach Gary Wortham told Hardin to hold off on making any decisions. The traditional signing period for senior high school football players was still scheduled for the first Wednesday of February. Believing more offers were coming in for his standout wide receiver/defensive back, Wortham stressed to Hardin the importance of remaining patient and sign then.
Hardin heeded his coach’s advice. Instead of joining two of his teammates in making his decision official, he, like many others, will delay their choice as they sort through their options.
“We feel he’s a high caliber player,” Wortham said. “We’re not trying to disrespect anyone, but we feel he can do a little bit more.”
On Wednesday, Hardin picked up an offer from Air Force to go along with his offers from Rhode Island, James Madison, Army, Bryant, Buffalo, Central Connecticut, Delaware State, Georgetown, Howard, Morgan State, Sacred Heart, VMI, West Virginia Wesleyan and Columbia.
The NCAA enacted the early-signing period in May with the hopes of reducing the pressure recruits feel in dealing with the non-stop pitches from colleges. Wortham sees the value in that, but also thinks it’s wise to wait if you remain uncertain or might draw a more appealing offer.
Of Woodbridge’s seniors, only Dashaun Jerkins (Vanderbilt) and Henry Chibueze (Liberty) signed Wednesday. With Wortham’s encouragement, other seniors from the 12-2 6A state semifinalists will take visits in January before making their decision.
Linebacker Kevin Peprah is scheduled to take official visits to Sacred Heart, St. Francis, Bryant and Rhode Island, lineman Sammy O’biang to Bryant, Rhode Island and Sacred Heart, Keith Thompson to Gannon, Central Connecticut State, Bryant and UVa-Wise, Caleb Grant to Shepherd, Wise and Gannon, Jeremi Haslem to American International, St. Augustine’s (N.C.), Gannon and Bluefield and Corey James to Shepherd, Gannon and Bluefield.
Hardin is in the process of deciding what schools he will visit.