Hardin's understudy days are over at Hampton

Douglas Fritz • Updated Jul 31, 2018 at 7:44 PM

HAMPTON — Football seasons always end, but they also plant seeds for the future.

When Alex Hardin was a freshman at Hampton, he was on the sidelines for the Bulldogs’ Class 2A state semifinal showdown against Marion County. He didn’t get to play in that contest, but watched and learned and wanted to be a part of it — if it came around again when he was in high school.

“That was great,” said the 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior. “I loved learning under those seniors. They taught me a lot. I didn’t get to play much as a freshman, and definitely didn’t get to play in that game. But seeing my teammates in that situation gave me a lot of help. We are striving to be as great as they were and bring that back.”

Intro to leadership

Hardin saw playing time as a sophomore, and started both ways his junior season. He split time at quarterback with Jason Russell last year, but this year he’s the man.

“You are always a little bit nervous,” said Hardin. “But I’m pretty excited. The team is ready, and I’m ready to go.”

Scouting himself

Hardin said his strong point is football IQ.

“My greatest strength is how smart I am with the ball,” he said. “Last year I didn’t throw a single interception. I’m very safe with the ball. I like to study it a lot.”

A good situation

Hardin said he’s fortunate to have a coach like Michael Lunsford.

“I wouldn’t play for any other coach,” said Hardin. “I love Coach Lunsford. He’s a great guy and a great coach. He’s very smart, and he knows exactly what he is doing. He knows how to make everybody do what they are supposed to be doing.”

The 2018 outlook

Hardin said the Bulldogs have a chance to be good this season.

“I think this team can go as far as we allow ourselves to go,” he said. “There is a lot of potential in this team. We have a lot of young kids, so it depends how they are able to step up and play roles on the team.”

Outside of football

Hardin said he’s a typical Hampton country boy.

“I like to hunt and fish and ride a dirt bike,” he said.

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