"Our coaches [at Florence High School] do a great job of getting our film out to anywhere you can think of," said Hardin. "Wake Forest received my film and said they were interested in myself and Daniel Keith, who is also an offensive lineman. I spoke with Ryan McManus, an offensive graduate assistant, and then with Coach Himebauch, the offensive line coach. He liked that I was a well-rounded player with good grades and told me they're hard to find. I was very pleased and excited about the offer. What the sell you at Wake Forest are great academics with a very competitive football program and those are both big for me in looking at schools."
Hardin has been a starter on the Falcons offensive line since he was a freshman at right guard. He played left tackle in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Last year was his first under head coach Jamey DuBose, who took over at Florence after a highly successful stint at Prattville High School.
"I love Coach DuBose," Hardin said. "He's a great man to play for. I think we'll be even better this season with Kendrick Doss returning at quarterback and wide receiver Isaac Dillard, who just received an offer from South Alabama. Our defense is going to be solid. Last year I thought I really became more of a complete lineman and was definitely more physical in my game. In the off-season, I'm not really playing any other sports, but I get up for seven o'clock workouts and we'll start spring ball in May. We'll have a game at the end with a team out of Tuscaloosa.
"With recruiting, I'm enjoying talking to people who like my potential. I don't have any favorites. First and foremost, I want to go to a school that's academically well-rounded and also fields a very competitive football team year in, year out. We run the spread at Florence, but I wouldn't mind something different like a pro-style offense."
In April, Hardin will show off his talent at an Under Armor Combine in Hoover, Ala. with his teammates. In 2012, the Florence finished 7-4 falling in the first round of the 6A playoffs to Huntsville. Hardin wears number 60 for the Falcons.
Wake Forest became the first ACC school to extend an offer to Cole Hardin, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive tackle from Florence, Ala. Just four weeks ago, Hardin received his first offer from Southern Miss. Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, and South Alabama quickly followed with the Deacons coming in this week. Hardin said "it's been an awesome couple of weeks."