Donovan Harden looks to continue performance on field

Donovan Harden, wide receiver, approaches the season with a target on his back from opposing defenses. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Donovan Harden, wide receiver, approaches the season with a target on his back from opposing defenses.  Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Donovan Harden, wide receiver, approaches the season with a target on his back from opposing defenses. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

The Georgia State Panthers reported to their first official practice Aug. 6. Entering his third year as head coach, Trent Miles has created his best roster thus far.

Miles’s wide receiver group is the strongest position by far on the team, led by the school’s all-time single-game receiving (2014 vs. Georgia Southern) record holder Donovan Harden and Robert Davis.

The depth and talent of the wide receiver core is a luxury and strong suit for Harden and company to be able to get open and make plays.

“You can’t really focus on one [receiver], You know there’s so many different guys out there,” Harden said. “You can’t really double team someone, because if they’re in single coverage hopefully they can take advantage of it,” Harden said.

Harden, the Illinois State transfer, was named to midseason Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The award is given to the most outstanding wide receiver in the country.

At a Georgia State facility, Donovan described a set of personal goals for the upcoming season. “I talk with [Kansas City Chiefs Receiver and All-Time Georgia State Receiving Leader] Albert [Wilson] every now and then and I tell him I’m coming for all of his single season records,” Harden said.

Donovan emerged as the most dangerous wide out on the team and shattered multiple records during his 2014 campaign. Against Georgia Southern, Harden grabbed a record-breaking 186 yards, while also tying the most receptions in a single game record with 11. Not to mention he found the end-zone four times against the Eagles.

In the competitive atmosphere of College Football, Donovan Harden said he gained the respect of his teammates with his performance last season.

“I think my performance definitely, helped me have a voice, and I earned those guys respect,” Harden said.

Donovan Harden’s performance prior was just as impressive. He finished with 10 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns against South Alabama.

Now, Harden is well-known by other opponents in and out of the Sun Belt Conference. It will be stirring to see how the Pre-Season All- Sun Belt First team wide-out performs when coaches and players have a full offseason to strategize his aptitude to get open against defenders.

“People were telling me I might get double-teamed coming out in the season,” Harden said. But, I feel like that might end quickly when Robert Davis starts to see them,” Harden said.

Harden said there was some smack talk going on during the Sun Belt media day in New Orleans. “Guys were talking a little but, I’m not sure if they know what really have in store,” Harden said.

Harden made it imperative to gain size and strength to adjust his game. “Lifting power strength,” Harden said.

“Our strength and conditioning coach not only focusing on us physically but mentally. He helps our mental approach to the game, so that’s definitely something we need this season,” Harden said.

The wide receiver core is the best group on the Georgia State roster and Harden believes so.

“Yes, most definitely,” Harden said. Nothing more nothing less.

The audience of the media laughed, but Harden seems to be straight forward with his remark. But Harden’s biggest competition is counter partner Robert Davis.

“He (Robert Davis) pushes me, and I’m always going to be competing with that guy and I am looking forward to it.”

A weapon most may not know or heard of is the incoming freshman Ari Werts out of Stone Mountain, GA. Werts is big 6’4 guy who can run and catch like a number one option receiver. Harden seemed to be fairly impressed with the young prodigy.

“First thing I’ve noticed is that he has great hands. He can catch a ball with one hand as easily as he can catching with two,” Harden said.

Donovan Harden is the most looked at receiver in the bunch, but do not forget there is an abundance of talent at the position just to focus on one player.