PJ Fleck, Gophers Get First Commitment of 2025 Class in Ballhawking Georgia DB, Zachry Harden

zachry harden minnesota gophers
Photo: Zachry Harden (@1_zackkkk - X)

Much of the 2024 Minnesota Gophers recruiting class is yet to enroll at the University, but that hasn’t stopped PJ Fleck and his coaching staff from shifting focus to the 2025 recruits. In fact, at spring practice on Saturday, Fleck & Co got their first commitment of 2025 from 6’2″, 185-pound ballhawking cornerback out of Covington, GA, Zachry Harden.

Minnesota Gophers received commitment from Georgia DB Zachry Harden

It was Harden’s relationship, not just with Fleck and co-defensive coordinator Nick Monroe, but with current Gopher players from Georgia like (S) Darius Green, who also attended Newton High School. Zachry told Ryan Burns (247Sports) that he talks to Darius on a near daily basis.

“Coach Monroe has been telling me how he likes how physical I am. He likes me in man-to-man and that I’m versatile enough to play any position in the back end,” Hardin told 247Sports. “I decided to set that official visit because I know itโ€™s gonna feel like home and my big brother (Darius) talks great about the atmosphere and I would like to be a part of that.”

Zachry Harden in interview with 247Sports.com

There are still a lot of kids from the 2025 class who do not yet have a ranking at popular recruiting websites like 247Sports or On3.com. So instead, we first look at what kind of offers Harden had. And his list, for this early on in the recruiting cycle, is pretty impressive, featuring plenty of SEC representation including Ole Miss, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and other power 5 offers like Michigan State, Georgia Tech and Pitt.

And when you turn on his Hudl highlights, his size immediately stands out, especially when you realize that he’s playing in class 7A, down in a football hot bed like Covington, GA. Obviously, you can’t judge a kid strictly based off of his Hudl highlights.

Related: Every Single Scholarship Gophers Football Player Has an NIL Deal, PJ Fleck Reveals

Nonetheless, if I had to pick out one thing that stands out, beyond just his physical size, is Harden’s pursuit of the football. He doesn’t lay a lot of kids out or try to take heads off. But without a doubt, he knows how to avoid tacklers and find the ball-carrier, when playing the run or defending screens and dump offs.

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