One on One with Matt Hardrick

There is no question that in the world of recruiting, the offensive line position is priority No. 1 for the Florida State football program this year. With the current unit ravished by injuries and the status of those hurt Seminoles in question for the spring practice period, the pressing need to get more and more big bodies in Tallahassee come January has put added pressure on a position already under the microscope.

But help appears to be on the way as FSU has recently turned up the heat on several junior college linemen. The Seminoles are also awaiting word on Matt Hardrick, the 6-foot-5 and 350 pound tackle that signed with the Seminoles this past signing period and is currently enrolled at Hargrave Academy.'s Brandon Mellor was recently granted an exclusive sit-down interview with the Edgewater High School graduate while he was at home in Orlando for Thanksgiving break. Among the topics discussed was his current status at Hargrave, what it's like to have future Seminoles as teammates and his thoughts on this year's Seminole offensive line. The following is a transcript of the conversation that took place.

Q: How is it being at Hargrave?

A: "To tell you the truth, you look forward to going and once you are going through those two-a-days and busting heads all day long?in the beginning it's hell. But once you are in the off season you look back on it and you realize that you accomplished a lot. Basically, you buckle down you are able to say that you did what you were supposed to do."

Q: What is like to be there with so many different guys that are going to someday be at football programs all over the country?

A: "There's just a lot of people there that are from different cultures and are different ethnicities. I mean, everybody is just from everywhere. When you first get there, it's weird and awkward and you don't know anybody but after living in barracks together and going through all the hard times, you pull together and become a family."

Q: It must be pretty cool having two current teammates in Callahan Bright and Justin Mincey that will one day be Seminoles just like you.

A: "Oh yeah. Callahan called me the other night to see how I was doing and I haven't talked to Justin in a little bit but we all are real cool. We all look forward to playing with each other in Tallahassee."

Q: Does it look like all three of you will get to enroll in January?

A: "I am actually not sure about Justin but I know that Callahan and I are in the same situation."

Q: And you are just awaiting word on a test score right now?

A: "Test scores, improved grades, stuff like that."

Q: When do you find out if you have the necessary requirements?

A: "I think that I can go online and check my grades on Friday (Nov. 25)."

Q: What is your current weight?

A: "I am around 349 or 350."

Q: What is the weight that you want to be at for Florida State?

A: "I want to be around 320 or so."

Q: What do you think about the injury problems that have plagued the FSU offensive line this year?

A: "Oh man. Just seeing that makes me want to be out there with them even more. I am just training right now to get my weight down and my muscles up and it's making me so hungry to get out there with them because I want to help."

Q: Do you talk to any of the current players?

A: "I talk to my former teammates, Aaron Jones and Kenny Ingram. I haven't had contact with Neefy Moffett and Fred Rouse because we all actually played against each other but I have been talking to Aaron and Kenny a lot."

Q: Do they give you little tidbits as to how Tallahassee is and what it's like to be a Seminole?

A: "Yeah they do. I am just ready to play with them again."

Q: With the struggles that the line has had this year, it's likely that there will be a lot of competition for starting jobs in the spring. As a left tackle, do you ever think to yourself that you could have the chance be a starter for the Seminoles in the near future?

A: "Well, becoming the starter is something that I am shooting for but I know it's going to be a step-by-step process and that is fine. The coaches actually came up a couple weeks ago to see us and they talked to me about the line issues and where I am going to fit in."

Q: What coaches came to see you?

A: "(Mark) McHale, coach (Billy) Sexton, coach Odell (Haggins) and (Jody) Allen."

Q: Do you get the chance to check out FSU again before the end of this semester?

A: "Actually, we are all going down there December 10th."

Q: Do you know who will host you on the visit or any other details of the trip?

A: "You can request hosts. They don't tell you who you have assigned until you get there though."

Q: Did one of the Edgewater guys host you when you made your official visit in high school?

A: "Kenny hosted me and Aaron hosted Quinton Brown (Hardrick's Edgewater teammate and fellow offensive lineman that chose to sign with N.C. State )."

Q: That sure would have been nice to land both of you guys. Does he like being in Raleigh, N.C.?

A: "Actually,he wants to come back to Florida State."

Q: Oh really? Is he taking a redshirt this season?

A: "Yeah he is."

Q: So, is it a serious consideration for him to transfer?

A: "He told me to ask around if there is a possibility that he could transfer but I don't if he was truly serious about it."

Q: I am sure the Seminole coaches would be very interested to hear about that. So, speaking of high school, you had the tough decision to choose between Florida State and Florida your senior year. In fact, your final decision came a few days after signing day. What is the real story with the delayed announcement?

A: "All my boys had already decided which college they wanted to go to and I went into my room I had both contracts in front of me just trying to decide which school felt more comfortable. Honestly, I had wished I could have signed both of them."

Q: What was it that made you choose the Seminoles in the end?

A: "I felt that they really needed me and wanted me. They came to my house every couple of weeks. They came to my school and checked up on me and stuff like that too. Also, they really didn't have any fight at my position. It was always a dream I had to play in the ACC and I never actually thought I would ever get that chance. It just feels good to know that I will get to do that someday soon."

Q: That about does it until we meet again in Tallahassee. Anything you want to tell the readers of Renegade Report before I let you go?

A: "Go Noles."

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