You don’t see too many two-way players at the college level anymore, but it’s still something that is prevalent at the high school level. Sometimes players are so good that they can genuinely project to being a great college football player on either side of the ball.
That’s how it is with Mecole Hardman. Wide receiver and defensive back coaches are going to be fighting over who gets him when he arrives on a college campus as a freshman. He has the athletic talent to be an All-American level caliber on either side of the football once he focuses on one position.
There aren’t too many players in this class that are as explosive as Hardman. He can flat out fly and has superior lateral agility as well. He’s not the biggest guy, but plays bigger than he measures in at. He looks like he will get to over the 190 range during his college career.
He plays quarterback for his high school team, but it’s simply so he can touch the ball on every play. It’s not in his future to play the position at the next level, although he could line up as Wildcat. That’s almost how it appears to be for him right now and he is dynamic as a runner.
He has good vision and great feet, but it’s his burst that separates him. If he gets a big enough crease then it’s six points. He can run away from defenders and have it appear that they are jogging trying to catch him.
From that, it’s obvious what kind of weapon he can be after the catch. What’s surprising is seeing how great his hands are when he has worked out as a receiver. He will go up and get it and snatches the ball out of the air naturally. He is pretty solid as a route runner as well and can explode out of his cuts.
I can’t speak to him as a cornerback other than the brief film I saw of him and the great ball skills he possesses. I will say that he has the footwork, fluidity, and explosiveness to be a great defensive back. I just haven’t seen enough of him playing it to give a proper critique of him.
If he plays offense, I think he can play receiver on the outside or be great in the slot as well. He could even get some carries and be used on jet sweep and reverses often. On defense, he is clearly a cornerback that could possibly project as a slot corner.
Hardman has the potential to be a dynamic player at the next level on either side of the football. Based on pure talent, he has the chance to become an All-American and starter for multiple seasons on offense or defense.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).