Haden, Version 2.0

Josh Haden

By now, most who follow recruiting are familiar with the Haden name – Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly High School rising senior Joe Haden, a recent Florida commit, is perhaps the finest athlete in the Class of 2007. Now meet Haden version 2.0.

Rising junior Josh Haden has followed his brother’s sharp ascent onto the national scene, and he’s done it a year earlier than Joe did.

Josh Haden, a 5-foot-8, 190-pound running back, has had an amazing summer. Though a few months from starting his junior year, he posted the highest SPARQ rating of any player, of any age, at all of of the Nike Camps. The SPARQ rating is an aggregate score based on the player’s vertical leap, 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle run and bench press reps of 185 pounds. His older brother came in second. Meanwhile, 13-year old Jordan Haden, the third of three sons, will likely start for Friendly at wideout this fall.

The second of four sons to former track star and professional body builder Joe Haden Jr., Josh ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, jumped 37 inches, ran the shuttle in 4.2 seconds and completed 45 reps of 185 pounds. He already maxes out at 400 pounds.

He’s not simply a workout warrior, though. With his brother Joe playing quarterback, Josh rushed for nearly 900 yards, scored nine touchdowns and led the team with 87 tackles.

“He’s a freak athlete, just like his brother,” said Friendly assistant coach Marcus Berry.

The younger Haden already has verbal scholarship offers from eight schools, including Tennessee and Florida, and Michigan is expected to offer soon. That’ll prove to be the tip of the iceberg, though, as word of his prowess spreads and schools can begin tendering written offers come Sept. 1.

Joe Haden Jr. said acknowledged that Florida holds somewhat of a built-in edge with his oldest son matriculating to Gainesville, but added that no one should assume Josh will be a Gator simply because Joe is going to be one.

The elder Haden added that Josh probably won’t let the recruiting process drag on very long.

“I think he’s gonna be an early commitment, right after or during football season [this year] because he’s just a laid-back kid,” Haden Jr. said.

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