Harding will give Bielema a chance


When Arkansas was going through its issues early in the season, it was tempting for three-star safety commit Khari Harding (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) to think about backing down from his pledge to the Razorbacks.

But his father, Corie Harding, said to be patient and not make any emotional decision. The Harding family feels like that patience is starting to pay off with the hiring of former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema as the new man in charge for the Razorbacks.

“We’re definitely going to give him a chance,” Corie Harding said. “I like Bielema. I like his attitude and what he was able to do with the Badgers.

“After Barry Alvarez left Wisconsin, you never really even knew because Bielema kept that winning tradition going and had that same tough mindset. SEC attitude in the Big Ten.”

Though Harding remains committed to Arkansas, several other schools have reached out.

“It has been pretty crazy here lately,” Corie Harding said. “Michigan checked in with us earlier this week and Auburn is really interested.”

The sudden interest from Auburn might be surprising, but it’s not shocking at all because Gus Malzahn was one of Harding’s biggest supporters during his time at Arkansas State.

No official visit or in-home visit has been discussed between Auburn and Harding. The only extensive visit has come from Arizona State. The Sun Devils have been persistent in their recruitment of Harding.

The Harding family connection with ASU defensive coordinator Paul Randolph isn’t hurting ASU’s chances.

“He came in last week and stayed until about 11 p.m.,” Corie Harding said. “Once he realized he played against my brother [Rodney] in Canada, oh, the stories kept coming all night. Arizona State talks to us every single day.”

Corie Harding said Khari’s first official visit is going to be at Arizona State, though no date has been set. Khari has made several unofficial visits to Arkansas, and the Razorbacks will definitely get an official one in January.