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April 11, 2008

Hardy looking forward to star-studded Grove Bowl

You can't get an Eli Manning jersey in New York these days.

The Super Bowl MVP quarterback's jersey is on backorder due to his sudden popularity in the aftermath of the Giants' stunning run to an NFL title.

Kendrick Hardy is looking forward to meeting Manning Saturday during Grove Bowl festivities, but the Monticello, Miss., running back is more excited about hobnobbing with another former Ole Miss Rebel.

"I want to meet Patrick Willis," Hardy said.

Hardy, a 6-foot-1, 200-pounder who is widely considered one of the top five prospects in Mississippi, will get to meet Manning, Willis and new Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt Saturday. Hardy, who rushed for 2,103 yards and 23 touchdowns on 175 carries last season for Lawrence County, will also get a tour of Ole Miss' athletic and academic centers and check out the Grove Bowl Saturday at 1 p.m. inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

"They said there are going to be a lot of people there," Hardy said. "I just want to see how good it is."

Two weeks ago, Hardy attended a junior day at Mississippi State.

"It went real well," Hardy said. "It was better than what I expected."

Hardy has also received offers from Southern Mississippi and Auburn. He'll likely get more between now and decision day.

"I'm going to wait until the end before I commit," Hardy said.


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