ELBERTON, Ga. — Mecole Hardman Jr., the nation’s No. 1-ranked athlete and a vital UGA recruiting target, is rethinking his long-standing plan to become a silent commitment.
The 5-star from Elbert County High School originally planned to commit early but not reveal it publicly until February’s signing day. The 5-star revealed on Thursday that there’s a 50-percent chance that it will go down differently.
The reason he might no longer do that will be just as important.
“Going into my decision beforehand I was down really to two teams which were Georgia and Tennessee,” Hardman said.
“But now I am still looking at all my schools equally. I put a timetable on my silent commitment so if it comes to a problem where I just don’t know if I am down to that (one) school yet then I will take off that silent commitment and just wait until (National) Signing Day and just keep going through the recruiting process as I am at right now narrowing my decision down as we go.”
Hardman said that late November or early December would be the deadline for his silent commitment.
He’s one of the highest-value targets on the UGA recruiting board because he could come in and become an impact player at receiver or cornerback as a freshman. The nearly 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has blinding speed and short-space quickness. I feel that he might already be as fast as anyone in the SEC in both regards.
What one tidbit did he share on Thursday that might bode well for UGA’s chances? Hardman said he wants to study Sports Broadcasting. That’s one area in which UGA’s academic prowess clearly facilitates his career goals.
Hardman told DawgNation his best time in the 100 meters has been 10.4 seconds. We’ll salute that effort by sharing several fast facts from his Thursday conversation with DawgNation in the video interview above:
- He’s got a pretty good idea of his three remaining official visits. He has already taken one to Miami (Fla.) and has planned an official visit to see Michigan host Ohio State.
- Which schools does he have in mind for his other three official visits? One will be an SEC school.
- The other two will be long-distance trips outside the SEC. Which two programs does he currently have in mind?
- What special occasion will be his next unofficial visit to UGA?
- What game will be at the center of his next unofficial visit to Tennessee?
- Why he’s not seeking attention by possibly taking his silent commitment off the table.
- Does the coaching change at Miami (Fla.) eliminate that school from consideration?
- What week is he planning his unofficial visit to Alabama?
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.