East No. 5 DE Dorian Hardy has Big Ten, ACC schools standing out

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Four-star defensive end Dorian Hardy of Paramus (N.J.) Catholic breaks down his top five schools.

Four-star Dorian Hardy, the No. 2 defensive end in New Jersey, made his share of spring visits and got to know programs and coaching staff.

And there are a few he is the most comfortable with as his recruitment narrows.

"Right now I'm talking a lot to PittsburghPenn StateOhio StateMichiganRutgers, and a few others," the 6-foot-4 1/2, 246-pound Hardy said. "Those stick out to me right now."

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Hardy recently transferred from Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph to Paramus (N.J.) Catholic, so the natural connection between Michigan linebackers coach Chris Partridge and his former high school is an identifying piece of his recruitment.

However, there is much more to Hardy's fondness of the Wolverines.

"(Defensive line) coach (Greg) Mattison, he's a great guy," Hardy said. "I like how they have that New Jersey pipeline. I think there are about 12 players on their roster right now. The way they work, coach Partridge, I'm at Paramus Catholic now and he was PC's coach a few years back so now I have a relationship with him. That's a school that can be the one I end up at."

Penn State is another place Hardy likes a lot, and his former teammate, Rob Martin, signed there in February.

"I love everything about Penn State," Hardy said. "Coach (James) Franklin to (defensive line) coach (Sean) Spencer to (assistant) coach (Ricky) Rahne, who is my recruiter, (defensive coordinator) coach (Brent) Pry, the campus ...I love everything about Penn State.

"(Spencer), it's his energy. I'm the type of player who feeds off a coach's energy, and coach Spencer is energetic and he's always ready to do something with the Wild Dogs. That's what he calls his d-line. That's a really great look."

Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson's reputation caught Hardy's eye.

"Coach Johnson is one of the best in the business," he said. "Going to him, you almost can't go wrong. You're almost guaranteed being a first-round pick if you do what you have to do with him."

Meanwhile, Hardy said Rutgers is in his group because of his knowledge of the program, and his relationship with the coaching staff.

"It's close to home and they show so much support, so much love," he said. "Rutgers is always going to be in the mix."

Meanwhile, the surprise school in the group is Pittsburgh, where Hardy visited a month ago.

"I was really impressed," he said. "I wasn't expecting what I saw with the academics and how they have a great alumni network."

Hardy said he is unsure if he will decide before, during or after his senior season.


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