The four-star junior safety from Pickerington High School Central, Ohio has opened eyes with his hard-hitting play, but he believes he can improve.
"There are a couple things I need to work on, but I've done well, and I'm playing a lot more this season than last year. I'm improving my skill and being more of a leader," Hardy said. "I'm pretty fast. I'm a run stopping safety and I'm decent in coverage. I can play a little corner, too. I need to get a little bit bigger, I'm kind of scrawny right now so in the offseason I'm gonna work to get my weight up."
Hardy made an official visit to Cincinnati last weekend and was very impressed. "I like Cincinnati a lot. I just like the program a lot. The coaches are real cool. The facilities, the weight room, the stadium, it's all really nice. The campus is nice too. They're one of my main schools."
Along with Cincinnati, Hardy is looking at West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio State. West Virginia- "West Virginia is a school I'm really interested in, I'm gonna be up there in a week or two and see how it is. I've never been there, but I know a lot about it and I'm gonna try to get to one of the games to see how it is."
Maryland- "I'm gonna try to make it to one of their games too. I've never been there either."
Ohio State- I grew up an Ohio State fan and I'm from the area, so that's a big one.
While Ohio State may have an advantage in the location department, distance is apparently not as big a deal to Hardy as other factors. "I'm not sure how far I want to be from home, I'm just looking for a school that's interested in me. I want to fit in. I want a good program academically."
Hardy does know, however, what kind of coach he wants. "I want a coach that likes what he's doing and knows what he's doing. He needs to talk to me and be a good friend. I want a coach I can talk to on my down time, just go in and talk to him." Coach Brian Kelly of Cincinnati might be exactly what Hardy is looking for. "Brian Kelly is a real good coach. I like where he is taking his program, they're coming up. I really got to know him and talk to him."
While Hardy has a long time before he has to make his decision, it would not be too surprising if he ends up in the Big East making big hits for the Bearcats.