Miami’s Heath Harding on Monday was one of 85 players named to the Chuck Bednarik Preseason Watch List, announced by the Maxwell Football Club. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995.
Harding, a Dayton Christian High School graduate, is the lone representative from the Mid-American Conference and is one of seven non power-five players on the watch list.
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Last season Harding earned first-team All-MAC as one of the league’s top cornerbacks. He finished the season with 67 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions and 11 pass break-ups. Harding’s top performance from last year was an epic win for the Red and White, helping Miami erase a 10-point second half deficit versus Ball State. In that contest, he recorded seven tackles, one interception and a career-best three pass breakups versus the Cardinals, sending Miami to its first bowl game since 2010.
In his career, the fifth-year senior has 227 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, nine interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 40 games.
Harding and the RedHawks open the season Sept. 2 at Marshall.