So What's Next for Hardy?

So what's next for James Hardy? Does IU Basketball - or perhaps the NFL Draft - figure into the 6'7" sophomore's immediate plans?

Bloomington, Ind. – So what's next for James Hardy?

Thanks to a recent visit to the Hoosiers' open basketball scrimmage last weekend, some think the conclusion of football season will see Hardy return to the basketball court as a member of Kelvin Sampson's basketball team.

Other fans are fearful that his recent run of success on the football field – he has seven touchdowns in IU's last two home games – will prompt him to give serious consideration to bypassing his final two seasons of eligibility and make himself eligible for the NFL Draft.

So is Hardy thinking about returning to the hardwood or NFL riches or perhaps both?

Actually, he's thinking about Minnesota.

Hardy did stop by Indiana's basketball scrimmage over the weekend, but he said that was little more than an effort stop by and see a couple of his friends, including D.J. White and A.J. Ratliff.

"I was over there once and now (people are talking as if I've been over there) all the time," Hardy said. "I just went over there to show my support and let them know that I am still their friend, even though I'm in the football season.

"After football, we'll talk about (basketball)."

There's also been plenty of speculation about Hardy's football future, and the possibility of him declaring for the NFL Draft before his four years of eligibility is exhausted. After a slow start to his sophomore season that included a two-game suspension, the 6'7", 216-pounder has bounced back in a big way in recent weeks. He leads the team with 33 catches, 419 yards and eight touchdowns, and he's now caught 18 career touchdowns in only 17 games in an IU uniform over the past two seasons.

But like basketball, Hardy said that's an issue that he'll give thought to once IU's 2006 football season comes to a close.

"We'll talk about (whether he'll be back next season) after this season," Hardy said. "I'm just focused on practice today, have a good practice, and then tomorrow I'm focused on that practice. I'm just taking it one day at a time.

"Whatever happens, happens. Right now I'm just focused on getting ready for the Minnesota game."

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