Mecole Hardman, Jr., the nation’s No. 1 athlete for 2016, will take an official visit to Ole Miss on Nov. 21 for the LSU game.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of the coaches lately and think it is a great program,” Hardman said. “Especially a program that is looking at me that is having great success over the years. I know Shea Patterson is committed to Ole Miss and he’s a great quarterback.”
The 5-star prospect from Georgia’s Elbert County High School views Patterson as a foundation for big things at Ole Miss.
“That’s a big thing for a recruiting class anyway,” Hardman said. “… You can’t win a championship without a great quarterback, and if you look at over the years who has won championships with Ohio State or Florida State with Jameis Winston and Cardale Jones. (Those are) great quarterbacks who lead their teams. I definitely want to go to a school with a great quarterback in place. That’s one of the reasons I look at Ole Miss, and their overall coaching staff has been there for a long time.”
The 5-foot-11 Hardman said the best prep quarterbacks he has seen on the recruiting circuit are UGA committment Jacob Eason, FSU pledge Malik Henry and Patterson.
“Woooooooo, Sheeeeaaa,” Hardman said. “Let me tell you: Shea can really throw a ball.”
“When I was warming up with him at The Opening he threw a ball so hard I had to say, ‘Hey, listen to me for a second, Shea.’ I told him he doesn’t have to throw the ball so hard,” Hardman said. “If you literally don’t get your hands right to catch the ball, then he can break and jam your fingers. The way he throws it he has got a pretty spiral. I love Shea. The only thing I think is going to knock Shea is his height.”
Hardman said Ole Miss could be a good fit for him because it recruits a lot of two-way players, but he doesn’t see the Rebels play enough of their guys both ways.
Hardman has already visited Miami (Fla.) and has also settled on an official visit to Michigan for Ohio State weekend. He’s also planning official visits to TCU and Oregon.
The 175-pounder has visited UGA and Tennessee more than all of his other recruiting trips combined. He’s so familiar with those options that he won’t take an official visit to either school.
He’s very interested in Alabama and plans to be in Tuscaloosa for this week’s Alabama-LSU game on an unofficial visit.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for DawgNation, SECcountry and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to the SEC.