Hardy Commits To Notre Dame Degree
Looks like her son will be graduating from one of the most prominent and celebrated schools in the land.
On Friday afternoon, the 6-foot, 180-pound Hardy verbally committed to Notre Dame, choosing the Irish over Michigan State. The touted cornerback prospect also considered Arizona, Kentucky, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
“My mom tells me almost everyday, just finish college,” Hardy told Irish Sports Daily early Friday morning. “Notre Dame is one of the biggest most-prestigious schools in the country, and I’m about to be going to school there next year.”
Hardy becomes the 11th player to verbally commit to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly in the class-of-2011, and the second cornerback, joining Matthias Farley (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian).
“There is hundreds of reasons why I chose Notre Dame,” Hardy began. He’s visited South Bend twice, once for junior day back in March, and he returned last weekend. “One, their academics are ridiculous, and with a degree from Notre Dame, I’ll be fine after football if my skills didn’t take me to the next level.
“Another thing, I just loved the campus. I loved the guys up there, I got to meet most of the players, and they made me feel like I was part of the team and the family already. The coaches treated me like I was a player too. They’ve been recruiting me hard since I was a sophomore and they were at Cincinnati, and they stayed on me at Notre Dame.”
Irish assistant coach Tim Hinton was the lead recruiter for Hardy, who had 75 tackles, three interceptions and five touchdowns as a junior. On top of his communication with Hinton, Hardy also kept in regular touch with Kelly, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and secondary coach Chuck Martin.
“The coaching staff recruited me hard, real hard,” Hardy said. “I liked that attention, and I want to play for coaches that really want me to be part of the team.”
Heading into last weekend, Hardy was almost a part of Michigan State’s team and program.
“Me going up to Notre Dame, it was my test to see,” Hardy began. “It was either between Notre Dame or Michigan State, and my visit up to Notre Dame would tell me if I would go to Michigan State or Notre Dame.
“Me going up to Notre Dame changed my whole mindset. I didn’t get to see much the first time, and the weather, the clouds were out, it was raining a bit, and I didn’t have that great of a time. I didn’t think it was for me. My parents wanted me to check it out again, and I had the greatest time of my life.”
Hardy’s parents couldn’t be happier.
“Me and my wife are very excited, because being older, we understand what Notre Dame represents,” Hardy’s father Bill said. “The first trip, it just didn’t click with him. The second trip did it and we’re very excited.”
Besides his favorites, Hardy also held scholarship offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Minnesota and Vanderbilt.