- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
It might not be against the stiffest of competition, but 20 yards per carry is still 20 yards per carry. That is what Dayton (Ohio) Christian senior athlete Heath Harding is doing this season.
Entering this past weekend’s game, Harding was leading a 6-0 Dayton Christian squad, carrying the ball 64 times for more than 1,200 yards and 22 total touchdowns.
Last week, Akron became the latest program to offer the 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back/cornerback. Actually, Harding said the Akron offer has been out there for a while, but he just did not know it.
“They said they offered me but I didn’t get the memo,” Harding joked. “They called me and said, ‘You know we offered you right?’ A coach came to the Ohio State camp and said he wanted to offer me, but I never knew.”
The Zips don’t care what position Harding plays for them. They told him they need an impact player on both offense and defense, and he fits the bill.
They need him to do it early, too.
“They said they need a home run hitter on offense and I could be that for them, and they need a lock-down corner, too,” Harding said.
With first-year coach Terry Bowden, Harding sees Akron as a program on the rise and plans to make it to a game soon.
Harding might try to make it up to Ohio State this weekend for a visit, although scholarships are tight in Columbus as the Buckeyes still deal with sanctions. It is more likely Harding will visit Ohio this weekend when it hosts Akron.
Ohio is one of the six MAC schools to extend Harding an offer. Joining the Bobcats and Zips are Bowling Green, Buffalo, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo.
As of now, all of those visits will be unofficial.
“I’m playing it by ear. I prefer to take [official visits] as soon as possible,” he said, “but a lot of schools said they like to take their official visits in December so we’ll see.”
546dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert