When head coach Gary Andersen hired Thomas Brown to be his next running backs coach, he knew it was a position that could make or break his teams chances of winning.
More importantly, he knew it was a position that would be make-it-or-break-it when it came to recruiting.
Thomas made a big step in the right direction this week, visiting Mecole Hardman and officially offering a scholarship into the 2016 football class at Wisconsin.
Hardman, recognized as one of the top running backs in Georgia going into his senior year, is recognized as someone who could be a threat to play on both sides of the football.
Brown was impressed with one aspect in particular, something he strives to find in each one of his college recruits.
“Toughness is one thing I look for in guys when it comes to recruiting,” Brown said. “You can’t coach a guy to be tough. He either has got it, or he doesn’t.”
Hardman said he was surprised to have learned of the offer from Wisconsin, having only exchanged a few Twitter messages between himself and coach Brown.
Brown, of course, is a former University of Georgia running back and has strong ties to many inside the prep ranks in the state.
Still, with Brown asside, the stud runner says Wisconsin has risen to the top in the early running for his services.
“With Wisconsin being first to offer, I have interest in them now,” Hardman said. “I will never forget my first offer, so this means a lot. It tells me that they see something in me nobody else has seen yet.”
Along with the Badgers, both in-state football powers, Georgia Tech and Georgia, have also shown interest in the 5-11, 170 pound sophomore.