EDMOND — Khari Harding is back home for what's left of a whirlwind summer.
The Edmond Santa Fe defensive back, who is No. 6 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's best college football prospects, committed to Arkansas in early June. He went to the Under Armour All-American combine and a Nike Football Training Camp.
But one big highlight of the summer was getting to play for his country.
Harding was one of just two Oklahomans — along with Sequoyah-Tahlequah's Brayden Scott — on the United States' 45-man roster for the International Federation of American Football U-19 World Championship, held from June 30 to July 7 in Austin, Texas.
“It was a real honor to play for my country, and getting to play against other countries from all over the world,” Harding said.
The United States lost in the gold-medal game to Canada, 23-17. Harding said he learned a lot through the experience and feels like he did well for the most part.
“I still felt like I could have done better,” Harding said.
One fan Harding made while in Austin was Scott, who is committed to Memphis and was the USA's team captain and quarterback.
“He's a phenomenal player,” Scott said. “There's not a position he can't play; I'm talking about quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker ... He's a great guy. We developed a relationship and we'll always root for each other no matter what.”
Harding started at wide receiver as a sophomore at Edmond Santa Fe, but was primarily used on defense last season, when the Wolves won their district championship and went 10-2.
He made 71 tackles and three interceptions during the Wolves' impressive run.
This year, he expects to play more at receiver in addition to his big role on defense. He's also the backup to the Wolves' standout quarterback, Justice Hansen.
“We have high hopes for the season,” Harding said. “We're trying to get to that gold ball.”
He said he hasn't visited Arkansas since committing on June 8, and isn't sure when he'll take an official visit to campus in Fayetteville.
One thing Harding won't do yet is close the door on any other possibilities. He's got nine more offers — from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Memphis, Oregon State and Wyoming.
“I still want to go see other schools and see what they have to offer,” Harding said.
Super 30 bio
No. 6: Khari Harding
School: Edmond Santa Fe
Position: Defensive back
Recruited by: Committed to Arkansas; also has offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Memphis, Oregon State and Wyoming.