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NIk Seu Ka Leo O Hawai‘i[/caption]
Continuing our new series detailing our Aussies in the NCAA we have former Aussie Rules Footballer, Scott Harding.
Scott Harding - Receiver - University of Hawaii
In two years with the Hawaii Warriors Scott Harding has gradually developed his role in the offence from return specialist to legitimate starting receiver.
In 2011 as a freshman he only caught six passes but returned 38 punts and 12 kickoffs. In 2012 he caught 21 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns. He started as their Z receiver in eight games on the season, and finished second on the team in catches and receiving yards.
His efforts as a receiver in 2012 saw him catch three balls in six of their 12 games, including a terrific 80-yard performance on the back of a 51-yard touchdown reception against New Mexico in Week 6. In 2012 he was also ranked 13th in the US in return average.
Harding is one of those unique Aussies who comes to American Football from Aussie Rules, much like Sav Rocca or Ben Graham. Harding played for the Brisbane Lions for five years, and Port Adelaide for one before making the move to Hawaii.
Unlike the others who came from an AFL background Harding came to American Football in his athletic prime at only 24 years of age. Also unlike the other AFL veterans he chose to play as a returner and wide receiver. Harding first trained with Prokick Australia, and after a trial was offered a scholarship to the University of Hawaii.
Harding's speed and hands has him well suited to his role as a receiver and return man. And he has gradually developed and increased his role in the offence.
Now in 2013 Harding's role as a receiver is set to increase some more. The Warriors have a reported lack of depth at receiver opening the door for more snaps and targets for Harding. The transfer of fellow receiver Trevor Davis will also surley help.
Harding aims to make it in the NFL and -- given his age and his conference -- has an uphill battle ahead of him. But if he keeps on improving and makes a splash in his remaining two seasons with the Warriors he certainly has a shot. NFL teams look favourable upon receivers with return skills.
We look forward to seeing how he performs this season.