Justin Hardy Named Third-Team AP All-America
East Carolina senior Justin Hardy continues to collect post-season honors after earning Third-Team Associated Press All-America accolades Tuesday afternoon. Hardy becomes the 11th Pirate in school history to earn AP All-America honors and the first since Andrew Bayes (P) in 1999. They are both joined by Jim Bolding (DB/1975), Cary Godette (DE/1976), Wayne Inman (OL/1979), Dion Johnson (WR-KR/1991), Robert Jones (LB/1991), Danny Kepley (LB/1974), Terry Long (OL/1983), Tootie Robbins (OL/1981) and Jody Schultz (DE/1982). A unanimous First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection by the leagues head coaches and winner of the 2014 Burlsworth Trophy given to the nation's most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on, Hardy heads into his final collegiate game against Florida in the Birmingham Bowl on Jan. 3, 2015, ranking second nationally in receptions (110) and fifth in receiving yards (1,334). A four-year starter at wide receiver, Hardy has caught more passes (376) than any player in the NCAA (FBS) history - a record he set against Tulane on Nov. 22 ending his pursuit of former Oklahoma pass catcher Ryan Broyles' (2008-11) mark of 349. Hardy, who also owns ECU career records for receiving yards (4,381) and touchdown catches (34), has nabbed at least two catches in all 48 career games played, recorded 14 double-digit career reception games, 16 100-yard receiving contests and hauled down at least one TD pass in 30 contests. In the Pirates' regular season finale against UCF, he caught a game-high 12 passes for 140 yards to break his own single-season record for receiving yards set a year ago. Hardy also needs five more receptions against the Gators to eclipse his single-season receptions standard with 114. The Vanceboro, N.C. native is the lone Pirate receiver to post three-straight 1,000-yard seasons (1,105 in 2012, 1,284 in 2013, 1,334 in 2014), and against Cincinnati became just the 16th player in FBS history with 4,000-plus receiving yards, which came on a 31-yard reception in the third quarter - currently ranks sixth on the all-time FBS list. He currently stands among the FBS leaders (Top 20) in receptions per game (1st/9.2 pg), receiving yards per game (6th/111.2 pg) and receiving TDs (19th/9).
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