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2017 Best Football Players in the MAC: #7 Heath Harding, DB, Miami RedHawks

The RedHawk is a ballHawk.

NCAA Football: St. Petersburg Bowl-Miami (Ohio) at Mississippi State Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After being slowed by injury in 2015, Heath Harding had himself quite a 2016 season. His 67 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 11 pass breakups were enough to earn him First Team All-MAC honors. Honors are nothing new to the Dayton, Ohio, native. He was named the Miami Newcomer of the year in 2013 and the Defensive Skill Player of the Year in 2014.

Big things are the expectation for 2017, too. The 5’10, 190 lb senior is on the Bednarik, Thorpe, and Nagurski watch lists.

Harding has all the tools you look for in a cornerback. He is exceptional at covering the receiver and playing the ball once it’s in the air. Along with his pass defense, he is good in run support as well, recording 97 tackles in 2015.

His rise to one of the best players in the MAC should not come as a surprise. Harding was a standout prep player while at Dayton Christian, rushing for over 5000 yards at 14.1 per attempt. His play was good enough to earn a Mr. Ohio nomination.