Former Commodore Linebacker Named Director of College Scouting

Harding Harper
Photo by Vandy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 26, 2024 –  Vanderbilt football head coach Clark Lea has announced former Commodore linebacker Harding Harper will join the staff as director of college scouting.

Harper returns to Nashville following one season as assistant director of player personnel at Alabama. He helped the Crimson Tide secure the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class in December 2023.

He joined Alabama following stints at Houston and Colorado. Harper served as assistant director of player personnel for the Cougars in 2022 following the 2021 season at Colorado in scouting. At Colorado, he worked for then-head coach Karl Dorrell, who was on staff at Vanderbilt during Harper’s playing days.

Harper moved to Colorado following time at Lycoming College (linebackers coach), Missouri (graduate assistant) and Centennial High School in Atlanta where he was assistant defensive coordinator, coached linebackers and served as the school’s recruiting coordinator. He also spent time at Penn State as a visiting intern.

Harper played linebacker for the Commodores from 2012-15, appearing in 14 career games while battling injuries. He saw action in all 13 games as a sophomore in 2013, making three tackles. His freshman and sophomore seasons were two of the most successful in school history, with the Commodores winning nine games and a bowl game each season. He went on to serve as a two-time captain despite playing in just two games during the remainder of his career.

The Birmingham, Alabama, native prepped at Carver Montgomery High School, where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. His father, Harding Jr., and uncle, Ronald Sr., were both record holders on the football team at Alabama State, while his brother, Montarius Smith, set SWAC records at Alabama A&M. His cousin, Roman, is an analyst for SEC Network/ESPN who played collegiately at Alabama and in the NFL.

Harper graduated from Vanderbilt in 2016 with a degree in political science.