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Oklahoma State Signing Day: First scholarship offer boosted Dylan Hardin's confidence

by Ryan Aber and John Helsley and Jason Kersey Published: February 5, 2014
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Dylan Harding wasn't sure this was possible.

“I always kind of doubted myself up until I got my first offer,” Harding said.

There were plenty more after that first one, but it didn't take long to make a decision once the right one came in for the Jenks safety.

Wednesday, Harding officially signed with Oklahoma State after committing to the Cowboys in late July.

He still spends plenty of time thinking about that first one, though.

A couple weeks after the Trojans won the 2012 state championship, Harding was called into the office at school, where he was met by Tulsa assistant Denver Johnson.

“I'm about to change your life,” Johnson told Harding before officially extending the offer.

“Ever since, that's when I realized the sky's the limit,” Harding said. “I knew I needed to put on some weight and I did; got to where I should've been and I got an offer.”

Or, Harding should say, THE offer.

He took a visit to Stillwater in July and soon had that offer from the Cowboys. He wasted no time, committing to OSU almost immediately.

“He was so excited,” said Jenks coach Allan Trimble said. “I just remember him tearing up. It was a lifelong goal for him to play at OSU and I guess he went over and really impressed them.”

Trimble said he could see Harding (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) used in a variety of ways.

“He's got great speed, great length,” Trimble said. “It'll be interesting to see what they do with him. Is he a safety? A linebacker? A receiver? But either way, they're getting a big, tall, good athlete.”

YOUNG CHOOSES UCLA

The Cowboys were hopeful of reeling in one more prized prospect Wednesday, with Louisiana linebacker Kenny Young set to choose between the Cowboys, UCLA, LSU and Texas A&M.

Young went with the Bruins.

A four-star prospect out of John Curtis High in River Ridge, La., Young visited OSU late in the recruiting process, the payoff of enhanced recruiting efforts by the Cowboys' staff in Louisiana.

Even without Young, OSU made those efforts worthwhile, signing defensive back Juwan Offrey and defensive tackle Joyan Williams out of Edna Karr High School in New Orleans, as well as running back Sione Palelei out of East Ascension High in Gonzales.

ONE TO WATCH

As Wednesday progressed, a buzz began to circulate that offensive lineman Deionte Noel of Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas, was switching his commitment from Texas Tech to OSU.

And that is Noel's intention, as a picture of him in OSU gear was sent out on Twitter.

Yet there's a catch.

Noel reportedly has some academic work to take care of to become eligible for college.

For now, the Cowboys' class is complete.

However, Noel could continue to work on his academics and enroll at OSU in the fall.

Noel, an offensive guard, is a three-star recruit by Scout.com and a two-star prospect by Rivals.com.

OFFENSE FAMILIAR FOR LACY

Chris Lacy was relieved to finally sign with Oklahoma State Wednesday morning, and now he's ready to get to work with the Cowboys.

“It's the same offense we run here at DeSoto, so I'll fit right in and catch a lot of passes,” Lacy said.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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