“I always liked Arizona State,” Hardison admitted, “but taking visits to other schools made me think about it. When you say that you have a number one school, other schools will take shots at it and show negativity towards them. The more I thought about it I knew that Arizona State had the best opportunity for me. I just liked everything about them.
“When I was talking to (ASU Defensive Coordinator) Coach Randolph he told me that I have to be 100 percent sure before I make my decision. I know this is the spot to be in. I was talking a lot to Coach Graham, Coach Randolph and Coach Lanning and they showed me the most love from day one. I could tell that they wanted me a lot and my relationship with them was just a little better than the other schools.”
Hardison admitted that he was elated with the early January announcement that the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Will Sutton, was returning for his senior year and that it had certainly played a factor in his pledge today.
“That was awesome,” Hardison said about Sutton’s return. “That’s great that I get to play with a player like him. I actually was talking to him last night, he was coming back from Seattle after winning another award (The Pac-12’s Morris Trophy) and I told him: ‘I can honestly be speaking for whole D-Line that next year I’m going to push you so I can get that award myself (laughs)…He said “bring it on, it’s time to work hard and get to that Rose Bowl.”
Hardison said that he also talked to another current ASU defensive lineman, Jaxon Hood, and built a relationship with him as well which was another aspect in today’s resolution.
The Dodge City defensive lineman wasn’t just intrigued with the talent on the Sun Devil defensive line, but also with the scheme that they run.
“The coaches said that they will put me on the field side defensive end,” Hardison stated. “But they are also going to move me around a lot based on defensive matchups. I’m quick, explosive and have versatility and the coaches like that about me. I just like everything about their system and how they run it.”
With close to 25 offers suffice to say that Marcus Hardison? was one of the most coveted junior college prospects in the 2013 class. His final four schools including Arizona State, were South Florida, Kansas State and West Virginia, although sources told us that South Florida was ultimately ASU’s main competition here.
“Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of good schools recruiting me,” Hardison remarked, “but you can only choose one. South Florida came on strong because they had new coaches which I already knew from before and had a relationship with, but Arizona State was tough to beat.
“When I went on the visit I really liked the coaches, their (weight and conditioning) training program…just loved everything on the trip. It feels great to be a Sun Devil. I’m very excited.”
As a freshman in 2011, the 6-4 290-pound Marcus Hardison who reported a 40-yard time of 4.7 seconds, posted 46 tackles and three sacks from his defensive end position.
Hardison is on pace to graduate in May and he will have three years to play two following the 2012 football season. He plans to arrive in Tempe in June in time for the first summer school session.