Five-star athlete Mecole Hardman, Jr. committed to Georgia on Wednesday.
Hardman is ranked 16th overall in the class of 2016 and is the country’s second-ranked athlete, according to Scout.com. He was also considering Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee. Though Hardman can play offense or defense, he served as the starting quarterback for all four seasons at Elbert County High in Elberton, Ga. As a senior last season, Hardman rushed for more than 2,100 yards and passed for more than 700 yards.
His commitment gives a huge boost for first-year head coach Kirby Smart, who took over the Bulldogs this off-season from longtime coach Mark Richt. Hardman is the 17th commitment in Smart's 2016 class, which was ranked 14th in the country before Hardman's pledge. That's the highest ranked class of any first-year head coach this year.
According to Scout, whatever a team expects from Hardman, he can do—and he can do it fast. He is one of the most explosive prospects in the 2016 class, with a burst when he gets the football.
More from Scout: “He is so good on offense, but could he be even better as a corner? He is a legit candidate to play both ways on the next level due to his size, athleticism, and skill-set. He is very similar to Terry Godwin in 2015 with the ability to play anywhere.”
For coverage and analysis of all the latest commitments on National Signing Day, check out Signing Day Central.