Where Monroe (NY) College JUCO cornerback Kamal Hardy chose to commit just before the start of the holiday weekend didn’t come as a total shock, but the timing of his commitment sure did.
Hardy, a 6-foot junior college cornerback, added an Iowa State offer in late March and has had the Cyclones at the top of his list since while adding offers from Indiana, Tulsa and a few others in the ensuing months. But Hardy hadn’t yet made a visit to Ames after a planned trip in recent weeks didn’t work and a decision wasn’t expected to come quickly.
In the end, Hardy chose to suddenly commit anyway.
“I wasn’t able to visit because [my commitment] was more of a last-minute decision,” Hardy said. “I wanted to commit to Iowa State because they were my first offer, I knew Coach Mo since he recruited me out of high school and I’ve seen what they’re doing over there building new facilities. I feel like they need me a lot over there and I want to go over there and compete for a starting job.”
Iowa State has been Hardy’s favorite for many months now. Secondary coach Maurice Linguist has a longstanding relationship after he recruited Hardy out of high school when he was at Buffalo. Hardy ended up at junior college, but the connection has paid dividends now several years later.
Hardy’s commitment to Iowa State, though, doesn’t quite end his recruitment. Hardy still has interest in Indiana, Tulsa and Arizona State, he said, and is likely to make visits in the coming months before solidifying his decision and graduating in December as a mid-year transfer with three years to play two.
“Even though I’m still committed to Iowa State, I’m still interested in a couple schools that I’m still going to take a look at,” Hardy said of his recruitment. “As of right now I’m a Cyclone.”
Hardy called a coach at Indiana following his commitment Friday night to explain his decision to commit to Iowa State. Arizona State hasn’t offered, but has expressed interest in getting Hardy to visit.
The same now goes for Iowa State, where Hardy was initially planning to visit in late June for the Cyclones’ Golden Ticket Day. His commitment came without a trip to Ames, but coaches hope he will now make several stops in town before he puts pen to paper later this year.
“Coach Mo wants me to take and unofficial and then and official visit,” Hardy said. “So I’m planning on taking an unofficial or official visit this month in late July.”
In the meantime, Hardy is Iowa State’s third commit. He called Linguist on Friday night and followed up with a call to head coach Paul Rhoads.
“He was really excited. I don’t think he saw it coming,” Hardy said of Linguist’s reaction. “Coach Mo basically said from the things he’s seen in person he believes I can come in there and compete for the starting position. As for me, I feel as if I’m a good man-to-man corner and I see they play a lot of man-to-man and the Big 12 is a pass happy conference and I like that a lot.”
As for Hardy, the relief hasn’t quite hit.
“It’s a good feeling, but it’s still business. I’m excited, the coaches are excited, but it’s still a long process,” Hardy said. “The season hasn’t begun and me signing papers hasn’t begun, so I really couldn’t say how I feel until the opportunity comes when I’m officially out of junior college and at my next school.”