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January 20, 2013

'Tradition' flips Harding from Hogs to Tigers

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Khari Harding made his switch from Arkansas to Auburn official on Sunday evening when he publicly pledged to the Tigers after arriving back home in Edmond, Oklahoma following his official visit to the Plains.

"It clicked this weekend," Harding said. "I want to be a part of the tradition and part of that Auburn family. The players were great, the atmosphere was great, and stepping on that field was great."

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Harding is the No. 11 player in the state of Oklahoma. He notified the Auburn coaches of his commitment on Sunday morning, but wanted to get back home and discuss the decision with his father before going public.

It was a decision his father fully supported.

"He was happy, he wanted me at Auburn. He knew it was the best place for me," Harding said. "I love the tradition and I want to beat 'Bama."

Harding is a physical, hard-hitting safety that new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson covets. Harding racked up 115 tackles as a senior and is ready to bring his aggressive mentality to the Tigers.

"They are going to play fast and physical," Harding said. "I'm coming fast and hard. I can cover, I have good hips, and I'm ready to hit and go to the next play."

Harding was committed to Arkansas since June 8. On Dec. 17, he received an offer from Auburn that changed the trajectory of his recruitment.

"I wanted to be loyal, but I went for the coaches and I didn't get a good vibe from their coaches," Harding said. "The Auburn coaches are down to earth and they produce players."

New Tigers' safeties coach Charlie Harbison recruited Harding to Auburn. Harbison's long-lasting relationships with his players garnered Harding's attention and made an impact.

"I like him a lot, he likes to stick with his players," Harding said. "Some coaches know you for four years and then that's it. This guy right here, he keeps up with players like Corey Webster, Brian Dawkins, Dexter McCleon, all of them."

Harding said he is done with the recruiting process and will take no more visits. He will sign with Auburn on signing day. He is Auburn's 16th commitment in the 2013 class.



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