Florida: Austin Hardin commits to Gators

The Florida Gators are done recruiting at least one position after landing Atlanta (Ga.) Marist kicker Austin Hardin on Wednesday.

In addition to the Florida offer, Hardin also held offers from Tennessee, Auburn, and Buffalo.

Hardin said there were several factors in his decision.

“I love the coaching staff,” he said. “With Florida I felt like I didn’t have to choose between academics or a good football program. Florida is both a great academic school, but they also compete for national championships every year.”

Hardin, whose family lived in South America during his middle school years, currently carries a 3.85 GPA and said he wants to major in international business at Florida. Though he has the grades to do it, Hardin will not enroll early at Florida because his high school will not allow it.

After a solid performance at the Will Muschamp football camp, Muschamp decided to extend the offer to Hardin, who quickly accepted.

“As soon as he offered today, I committed,” Hardin said. “Florida is where I want to be, I knew it right away.”

Coming from Georgia should the Gators be concerned if the Georgia Bulldogs come calling?

“Not at all, I didn’t even like Georgia growing up,” he said. “I am 100 percent committed to being a Gator, I won’t be taking any other visits.”

According to Hardin, he was 13-of-20 on field goal attempts as a junior, but two attempts were blocked and the other missed attempts were from more than 50 yards. His longest field goal on the year was a 59-yard, game-winning field goal. 

Hardin also said all of his kickoffs other than specialty kickoffs were kicked out of the end zone.

Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis will be a senior when Hardin arrives on campus, so he should compete for early playing time.

In any case, Florida has likely filled its special teams quota after landing a commitment from Austin Hardin.

Commits are not bound to their school of choice until signing a letter of intent on National Signing Day in February.