Local product headed to Chowan

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WINDSOR – Charles Carter Harden wanted to stay close to home.

The 6’3” 230-pound former Bertie High School lineman thus spurned Alderson-Broaddus and Bluefield State of West Virginia and Ferrum College of Virginia for the green grass of Garrison Stadium. Monday Harden signed as a Preferred Walk-on with Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) member Chowan University in the BHS Media Center.

“It was a good place to get an education, to go play, and to have fun doing both,” Harden said with a smile. “But the main thing is the education.”

Harden was a 4-year starter on the Falcons’ offensive line, three of those under former coach Greg Watford and his final season for Coach Will Harrell. The Windsor native was also a pre season All-State pick as a senior. As a junior Harden had 41 pancake blocks and as a senior he recorded 52 pancakes serving as one of the Falcons’ captains his senior year.

“The biggest thing I learned is how to persevere,” Harden said. “You go thru the ups-and-downs but you have to do what it takes.”

It’s an attitude like that that sounds good to Chowan head football coach Tim Place.

“We’re excited to have a young man like this join our program,” Place said Monday in a telephone interview. “He brings enthusiasm and that’s exactly what we want from kids who themselves just want an opportunity.”

Harden was recruited by Chowan offensive line coach Omar Nesbit and it was Nesbit’s no-nonsense style that attracted Harden to the Hawk program.

“He (Coach Nesbit) is the kind of coach that works you hard to get the best out of you,” Harden said. “He’s not a ‘jive guy’ and he teaches you how to really ‘man-up’. That’s what I really loved about the program.”

Harden says he will major in sports management in college with a minor in coaching.

“I really want to be a coach,” he says confidently. “As a student, Chowan’s small environment allows you to get to know everybody, and I think that’s going to help me.”

“He has ability and he has potential,” said Coach Place. “We’re really excited to see what he can do.”

Harden thinks he has a great football mind.  He hopes to get his weight up to 280-285 pounds where he hopes he can land the job early on as the Hawks’ long snapper.

“I just love going to (Chowan) games,” Harden said. “This will be a really great atmosphere to play football.”