An Oak Harbor High School alum and College of Idaho football player recently was named a first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association.
Dorian Hardin, who graduated from Oak Harbor High in 2019, is only the the third College of Idaho defensive player to earn an All-American honor in program history, according to Danny Kambel, director of athletic communications at the college.
Hardin led the team with 14 pass breakups, was second with three interceptions and fourth with 45 tackles. He wrapped up his college career with a total of seven interceptions and 145 tackles.
“All-American is a huge deal. It’s the highest honor you can get,” said Chris Jewell, defensive coordinator and associate head coach at the College of Idaho.
The honor means at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes level, Hardin is one of the best players in his position in the country. About 120 schools are included in the association. Hardin has also been all-conference three years in a row.
As a football player, Jewell said Hardin is “hyper-focused” as well as a “quiet leader.” Hardin is the team captain and Jewell said that his teammates look up to him and come to him for advice.
But, Jewell said, the thing that makes Hardin special and the reason NFL scouts have been interested in him is “he’s just wired the right way from a competitive standpoint.”
Jay Turner, Hardin’s football coach in high school, shared a similar sentiment.
“Dorian was one of the best football players I have coached in 20-plus years of coaching,” Turner wrote in an email. “Not only was he an outstanding football player, but he was also the hardest working athlete on our team. It’s a rare combination when your best player is also your hardest working player.”
Turner also commended Hardin’s intelligence and said his success in college, both on and off the field, was not surprising.
Hardin said the All-American award signifies that his hard work is paying off.
“I did want to get it but at the same time, I’m just trying to work towards a bigger goal of making it to the NFL,” he said.
The Oak Harbor High School football team prepared him well to be successful in college. He was also the team captain in high school and served as a leader for his teammates.
Hardin played in the FCS Bowl in Daytona Beach, Florida, which gave him the opportunity to play in front of NFL scouts. The bowl is an annual game for the best college All-American and all-conference college football seniors.
Hardin even made it to the next stage as one of the best 30 players in that game. He is going to be playing in the Tropical Bowl in Orlando later this month.
Aside from football, Hardin has excelled in the academic world. He is a senior studying business, set to graduate this spring. He is interested in the finance side of the business world. Even so, his dream job after college is to play professionally.