March 25, 2008

Hardy ready to run, eager for visits

Kendrick Hardy isn't extremely comfortable with the attention that's coming his way on the recruiting trail.

A soft-spoken "Yes sir, no sir" kind of guy, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back from Monticello (Lawrence County), Miss., would rather let his quick feet and blazing speed speak for him.
"I just want to play running back," Hardy said. "I want to go pro."

Lawrence County coach Mike Davis probably wouldn't be all that surprised if that happens one day.

"He's got a stride only God gives you," Davis said. "It's pretty to watch him run."

Hardy rushed for 2,103 yards and 29 touchdowns on 175 carries last season.

"We stuck him in the lineup in the third game of his sophomore year," Hardy said. "I think it was against Magee. He gained more than 200 yards and he's been doing it ever since.

"He's a hard-working, quiet young man. He's a powerful, strong running running back. He's a humble kid. He's what you're looking for in a young man."

Before Hardy can think about going pro, he's got another season with Davis at Lawrence County. And he faces one of the most important decisions of his young life - where to attend college.

Hardy will start the evaluation of some of his prospective suitors Saturday when he travels to Mississippi State for the Bulldogs' junior day. He'll then make the trip to Oxford on April 5 for an Ole Miss junior day. Hardy's older brother, Kenterio, plays at Nicholls (La.) State, and his oldest brother, Wayne, played at Southern Mississippi, and the Golden Eagles have offered a scholarship as well.

"It's a whole new staff," Hardy said. " I don't know much about them."

"Everything is equal," Hardy said. "I'm really trying to see the school, how they play in person."

Hardy said he's also interested in Florida, Georgia and "really any schools that are good and want me to play running back."

Davis, however, thinks his star tailback will ultimately play his college football in the Magnolia State.

"I think he's going to be open," Davis said. "I really do. I think he's got an open mind. I really believe he'll stay (in Mississippi). Who knows what will happen when the big lights come on? But I have a feeling he'll stay in-state. He won't get too far from home, I don't believe."

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