Mecole Hardman has decided to keep Tennessee and Georgia off his official visit list—he won’t go to either one this fall.
Upon first impression, you’d think that’s a bad thing, but when you’ve visited those schools as many times as Hardman has, you don’t need to waste an official to do it.
Remember, Hardman has already stated he plans to “silently commit”, at some point, and he wants to keep his intentions a secret for as long as possible. In keeping with that, his actions are meant to suggest he’s wide open to any and all schools.
That said, every action he’s taken since making his intentions clear have been with the purpose of adding a bit of mystery, while also having a ton of fun enjoying the “process”.
Even so, here’s what I believe: 1) Hardman already knows where he’s going, 2) that place will be Georgia, and 3) his best chance to keep those two things a secret is to not do anything that makes people further interpret his actions as pro-UGA.
In other words, he has to separate himself from the school(s) he’s considering as much as possible so that doubt can enter into the perception. By doing so, he can further enhance excitement on National Signing Day as well as get the true recruiting experience from schools that may want to have a shot at landing him.
However, there’s not an interview Hardman has done where Georgia doesn’t feel like the team in the lead, and it’s clear his mother is on board with them as well—or at least she’s on board with the head coach.
“People always ask me if I am a Georgia fan,” Danyell Hardman told the AJC. “I say I’m a Mark Richt fan. I’m a Mark Richt fan because of his values. I think if my son did go to Georgia, not only would he become a good football player, but I think Mark Richt would make him into more than just another football player. With him, I think it’s more than just football. He will make him into a man.” (Chris Kirschner, AJC)
Could Hardman change his mind about Georgia? Sure, it’s recruiting…anything can happen, but all that relationship building won’t be undone overnight, and Hardman’s decision to not take an official visit doesn’t mean he won’t be staying in touch with the staff—or vice versa.