The week has been kind to Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor). In a 36-hour span, Hardeman picked up three offers and upped his total to 11 overall.
On Tuesday, the 2014 cornerback picked up a Nebraska offer, his third Big Ten offer. Wednesday morning, Hardeman picked up his third SEC offer, after Ole Miss co-defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff extended a scholarship.
It was Hardeman’s Wednesday-afternoon offer, however, that made him smile brightest. He was offered by BCS national runner-up LSU – SEC offer No. 4 for the 5-foot-9, 180-pound defensive back.
“My coach [J.D. Jordan] gave me the good news. It was crazy when I got it,” Hardeman said. “All this is happening because of all the extra work I’ve been putting in. It shows me that I really am capable of playing at a good school like LSU.”
Hardeman is being recruited to LSU by both secondary coach Corey Raymond and special teams coach Thomas McGaughey. He also holds offers from Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, among others. Texas, Oregon, Miami (Fla.) and Florida State all have expressed interest.
Hardeman said the LSU offer holds merit not only because of the program’s prestige but also because of the opportunity to line up against some of the best athletes in practices and in conference games.
“I know everything about [LSU]. The academics are good, and the tradition there is crazy,” Hardeman said. “When I was down there, I went to the spring game, and I had a chance to meet all the coaches.”
Hardeman added that while in Baton Rouge, La., he had the chance to meet and chat with star defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, one of his favorite players in college football. Hardeman took Mathieu advice from a lengthy conversation and also took mental notes while watching Mathieu compete during LSU’s spring game.
“I try to mimic my game after his,” Hardeman said of Mathieu. “He told me that everything I do, I need to give 100 percent. It’s the only way to get better. When everybody’s sleeping, I have to be up doing all the extra stuff.”
Hardeman brings great a number of characteristics to Taylor’s defense, which has equated into his ability to make plays in the secondary. Hardeman recorded 42 tackles, eight pass breakups and an interception during his sophomore season.
Hardeman’s best asset arguably is his speed. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds and has finished the 100-meter dash in 10.5 seconds. His ability to close on plays made him not only a mainstay in Taylor’s defense but also a second-team, all-district selection.