By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
PREP FOOTBALL: Newton Rams senior makes his college decision
Josh Hardeman
Newton Rams running back Josh Hardeman with a tough run against the Buford Wolves defense. Photo by Anthony Banks.

COVINGTON, Ga. - Newton Rams senior running back and defensive back Josh Hardeman announced to the world on Twitter his commitment to the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Hardeman boasts four offers from a wide assortment of schools, including Purdue, Marshall, UNC-Charlotte, and North Carolina A&T. 

When asked what made him commit to the Thundering Herd, Hardeman was short and to the point, but he elaborated more on what went into his decision.

"I just felt like it felt right and it felt like it was the best choice for me," Hardeman said. "I just think the school will fit me well and they've got my major, so I really feel like I'll fit down there."

Hardeman has yet to visit the Thundering Herd's campus in Huntington, West Virginia but both he and the Thundering Herd coaching staff are eager for him to visit.

"They are just telling me they can't wait for me to come down there on a visit," Hardeman said. "I got to check both of our schedules because we have another bye week, but they'll be away, so we have to weigh our options."

The campus of the Marshall Thundering Herd is over 500 miles away from Newton high school, but that does not intimidate Hardeman. Hardeman is not worried about the distance and he and his family are all mainly excited. 

"I feel great(about playing far from home). I got to see how it is," Hardeman said. "They feel great about it. They might be more excited than me."

Hardeman believes that Marshall could be a perfect fit not only on the field but also off the field. Away from the gridiron, Hardeman is very interested in the field of Criminology. Marshall University offers that major and he is excited to see how they can help him excel in that field.

On the field, Hardeman is a bruising running back that can break tackles and get the tough short yards for his offense. While defensively, he boasts the skills to be a hard-hitting safety that can help make big tackles and come up in run support. 

The Thundering Herd have made it known to Hardeman that they would like to use him on the defensive side of the ball, which happens to be his favorite place to play. Short and sweet again, Hardeman described why he loves defense so much. 

"I like defense more than offense," Hardeman said. "I just love to hit people and cover."

Hardeman could not deny that he has had help along the way and credited Rams defensive backs coach Josh Skelton for always "pushing him in the weight room" and "helping them get better." 

Coach Skelton spoke glowingly of the Rams defensive back and knows that the Thundering Herd "is getting a great kid and a great player."

"Josh Hardeman is one of the most explosive players we've had since Jaquan Henderson," Skelton said. "He's also one of the most coachable kids we have. He works extremely hard and we're extremely proud of him."

Hardeman also credited Rams head coach Camiel Grant Jr. for being like a father figure for him and always pushing him showing him that he cared for him. 

He also wanted to show his gratitude to "his family, coaches, his old recreational football coach (Coach Kevin Green) and his teammates," for helping him get to this momentous achievement.

Hardeman has already had multiple recruits and Thundering Herd fans reach out and show their excitement and support of his commitment. 

He knows that he still has plenty of work to do to become better every day, and he hopes to continue to do that in a few specific areas.

"It feels great, and I've had to work hard, and I have to keep working hard and grinding every day," said Hardeman. "I need to get faster and work on my coverage more."

As for his goals, when he gets to Marshall, Hardeman has three main things he wants to do there. 

"My goal is to get better, keep my head on straight and focus on school," Hardeman said.