OSU football: Hardin adapts at Shrine Game; recruiting continues

2012-01-23T23:45:00Z 2012-04-27T21:29:16Z OSU football: Hardin adapts at Shrine Game; recruiting continuesBy CLIFF KIRKPATRICK, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

Former Oregon State cornerback Brandon Hardin enjoyed his time in St. Petersburg, Fla., last week for the all-star East-West Shrine Game.

Hardin practiced four times for NFL scouts and played well in Saturday's game, but at safety and not corner as he helped the West defeat the East 24-17.

The move to safety was because one of the safeties on the roster was hurt in practice, so Hardin filled in.

At 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, Hardin has the build and speed to play safety but has always been a corner with his agility.

"I think the game went well for me," Hardin said. "I felt good when I was out there. I was playing full speed and hitting. After the game I was a little sore, but didn't have any worries in the game (about the shoulder)."

Hardin wanted to show he could still play after he missed his senior season to recover from shoulder surgery. He was injured in August during training camp.

The biggest play for Hardin was recovering an onside kick that led to a first-half touchdown for the West. He had four tackles and was able to show off his special teams ability.

Scouts told him they could see him as either a corner, safety or a hybrid defensive back. Hardin was able to practice one day at corner before moving to safety for three practices.

"I think the week of practice went well for me," Hardin said. "I felt I could cover well as a safety. I hope I showed that I'm healthy."

Hardin hopes to receive an invitation for the NFL Scouting Combine by the first week of February. In the meantime, he plans to keep training to be ready to work out for scouts whenever asked.

Recruiting news

Safety Chris Young verbally committed over the weekend, according to Rivals.com. He's a 6-foot-2, 220-pound, three-star athlete out of Arizona Western College with three seasons to play two.

Young chose the Beavers over offers from Indiana and Washington State. He is from Auburn, Wash., and was rated a four-star athlete by Scout.com out of Auburn High. Young signed with Washington two years ago.

JC Grid-Wire named him a junior college all-American and he was named the National Junior College Athletic Association's Defensive Player of the Year. Young is known for his hard hitting and instincts.

The Beavers are up to 24 verbal commitments, including eight defensive backs. However, two are soft verbal commitments and may go elsewhere. Young might move to outside linebacker with his hitting ability.

The soft verbals

Four-star defensive back Devian Shelton is still committed to the Beavers after visiting Washington over the weekend, according to ESPN. Shelton plans to visit Tennessee next weekend.

Three-star defensive back Cleveland Wallace is also still committed to the Beavers after a visit to Boise State. He visited Washington two weeks ago.

They started looking around after defensive back coach Keith Heyward left this month to coach the secondary for Washington.

Recruiting notes

Rivals.com ranked the OSU recruiting class at No. 28 in the nation and seventh in the Pacific-12 Conference. If that remains through signing day that would be the highest the Beavers have been ranked in recruiting since Rivals started tracking.

The recruiting of the six potential offensive linemen ranks the Beavers No. 5 in the country at that position, and the eight defensive backs have the Beavers ranked No. 9 in the country.

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