Ole Miss makes late charge for UGA commit

OL Sage Hardin of Marist (AJC)

OL Sage Hardin (left) of Marist (AJC)

While UGA is busy trying to poach offensive linemen committed to other schools, somebody is trying to steal away one of two committed to the Bulldogs.

It’s just a normal day of business in the wacky world of recruiting.

Sage Hardin, a 3-star offensive lineman from Marist high school, said he was offered by Ole Miss on Tuesday night. Hardin has been committed to UGA since earning a camp offer last summer.

“I would have appreciated the offer from Ole Miss earlier,” Hardin told the AJC. “Once Coach Bobo and Coach Friend left, Ole Miss started getting in contact with me again. I wanted to be polite. They were always one of my favorite teams before I committed to Georgia. I had a very strong relationship with Coach Freeze and some of the other coaches. I listened to what they had to say.

“They were respectful of my decision. They were saying a lot of ifs — ‘If I was to de-commit’ or ‘If the new OL coach doesn’t like you as much as we do’ … it was just a bunch of possibilities that are highly unlikely to happen. And that’s basically why they extended the offer. They loved the way I played. I think they have a fear that one or two of their offensive linemen might de-commit (from Ole Miss). And I think they just wanted to come back after me with Coach Friend and Coach Bobo leaving.”

So will Hardin take an official visit to Ole Miss to listen more to what the Rebels have to say?

“I highly doubt it,” he said. “Even if I wanted to visit, I don’t think I would have the time. I just don’t really see it. I mean, I might squeeze in a visit. But I don’t really see it happening. I love Georgia. I really like Coach Schottenheimer, and I’m starting to build a little bit of a relationship with Coach Sale.

“Mainly, the reason they (Ole Miss) extended the offer is because I haven’t met any of the new UGA coaches yet. And so they are thinking I might not be as interested in UGA before, and there might be room for me to look at other schools because of the uncertainty. But I’m still 100-percent commit to UGA, and it there’s .01 percent chance of me de-committing. It would take a lot to happen at the University of Georgia for me to not sign there.”

Hardin will find out exactly where he stands with UGA’s new offensive line coach, Rob Sale, very soon. He’ll have a face-to-face meeting with Sale (and UGA assistant Kevin Sherrer) on Thursday at Marist. The Ole Miss coaches are scheduled to be at Hardin’s school the following day.

UGA’s only other offensive lineman in this recruiting class is DeVondre Seymour from Hinds junior college. His future status with the Bulldogs is a concern because he wasn’t able to qualify academically to enroll early at UGA last week.

*Georgia’s Top 10 OL for 2015

  • Mitch Hyatt, North Gwinnett (Clemson)
  • Chuma Edoga, McEachern (USC)
  • Chidi Valentine-Okeke, Faith Christian (Alabama & Auburn lead)
  • Marquel Harrell, Creekside (Auburn)
  • Dallas Warmack, Mays (Alabama)
  • Kaleb Kim, Mill Creek (Auburn)
  • Bailey Sharp, Sprayberry (Auburn)
  • Venzell Boulware, Creekside (Tennessee)
  • Sage Hardin, Marist (UGA)
  • Cole Minshew, Coffee (FSU)

* Posted in exact ranking order from 247sports composite rankings

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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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