Focus 2005

The Florida State Seminoles have had good luck recruiting North Carolina, especially when needing to find a quality running back. OF course, FSU signed North Carolina native <b>Jamaal Edwards</b> earlier this month. Because the Seminoles return only two tailbacks, there's a good chance Edwards will play as a true freshman. Well, it appears FSU could venture into North Carolina again in 2005 for a running back, namely <b>Montario Hardesty.</b>

Montario Hardesty, of New Bern, N.C., told Chris Puckett of UVA Insiders that he's currently enjoying the recruiting process.

"I'm just taking it all in," Hardesty said.

Puckett writs that Hardesty should enjoy it because he has received tons of attention from up and down the East Coast and the mid-West.

Hardesty has heard from Virginia, Va. Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, Maryland Penn State, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida State.

The Seminoles, of course, landed North Carolina native Jamaal Edwards on National Signing Day earlier this month. FSU also signed Lamar Lewis of Jacksonville Trinity Christian.

Edwards, who is listed at 6-foot, 205 pounds, ran for more than 2,000 yards in each of his final two high school seasons.

Lewis, meanwhile, led Trinity Christian to an an undefeated season and shattered the school's all-time rushing record with more than 5,200 yards.

Although FSU lost three-year starter Greg Jones, FSU returns Lorenzo Booker and Leon Washington, who will miss spring drills following ankle surgery.

Hardesty has two offers so far with more on the way. UNC and NC State have offered to try and keep the speedster in North Carolina.

In 1999, FSU signed Nick Maddox from Kannapolis, N.C. Although Maddox didn't quite match his billing -- he finished his prep career with 6,624 yards and a state-record 114 touchdowns -- he was an important signee for the Seminoles.

Virginia also appears to be hot on Hardesty's heel, although they have not offered him a scholarship as of yet.

"Last year I got a letter from Coach Brown every Thursday before ball games telling me good luck," he said.

Hardesty, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, enjoyed a stellar junior campaign racking up 1,917 yards and 19 touchdowns, all while leading New Bern to the state title game against national power Charlotte Independence.


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