Tentative five for Juco DE Marcus Hardison

Junior college defensive end Marcus Hardison (Dodge City, Kan./Dodge City Community College) currently is balancing more than 20 offers, but the incoming sophomore on Thursday said he is in the process of narrowing his choices.

Hardison, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound end, has a tentative list of five schools he wants to visit immediately following the 2012 season. Hardison said Arizona State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Arkansas and South Florida all are in the mix, but schools can be added or subtracted as the summer progresses.

“Everything is still wide open, but I’ve got a few schools that I want to check out,” Hardison said. “So far, everything’s been really good. The summer’s allowed me to slow down a little, but this has been a lot more than I expected coming out of high school.”

Hardison played his high school ball at Charlotte High School (Punta Gorda, Fla.), but he wasn’t an academic qualifier. He took his talents to Dodge City and emerged into one of the team’s top defensive players. Hardison had 46 tackles and three sacks and was named a second-team All-Jayhawk Conference selection during the 2011 season.

“My freshman year here was a lot different for me,” Hardison said. “In high school, I didn’t play every down. At Dodge, I played 73 snaps a game. I think next year, my goal is to make first-team All-American.

“I got second-team all-conference last year, and that was a good little first step, but I’m looking to step my game up when the season starts.”

Hardison has additional offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, TCU, Ole Miss and several other programs. He said he will make a decision sometime after the end of the 2012 season. He plans on graduating in the spring and not as a mid-year transfer.

“I’m looking for good, experienced coaches to progress my skills and get me where I need to go,” Hardison said. “I want to graduate from that school and hopefully move to the next level. I have a dream to play in the NFL someday.”