PROFILE 2003: RB Erik Hardeman

The top running back from the state of Texas has made it a point to check out LSU this summer.<br><br>Eirk Hardeman, the talented tailback from Pflugerville, currently has three favorites but hasn't eliminated anyone - yet.

"I really couldn't tell you how many any offers I have right now," Hardeman told HR on Monday night. "But I have a lot. My top three schools are Texas, Miami and Arkansas. I attended the Texas camp and have made an unofficial visit to LSU. I also wanted to make a visit to Arkansas this summer, but that didn't work out schedule-wise."

Hardeman, who rushed for 1,358 yards on 208 carries with 11 touchdowns in 2001, was asked if he anticipated more of the offensive workload this season.

"We play in the winged-T set, so I might get even less carries than last year," he said. "That's just the nature of this offense. Everyone gets touches. We're not going to line up in the I (formation) and run it that way."

In addition to being an excellent runner, Hardeman also caught eight passes for 110 yards with one touchdown and returned five kickoffs for 210 yards, one a 98-yarder for a score against Round Rock Westwood last season.

And the toughest opponent he's faced?

"I'd have to say it's my teammate, (linebacker) Luke Tiemann. He's hit me harder than anyone and that includes Derrick Johnson (Texas) and Justin Crooks (Baylor). I believe he'll be All-State this season."

The six-foot-one, 205-pound Hardeman was asked if he would possibly make his decision before the season began,

"I could," he said. "Of the three, Texas is my favorite. My mother graduated from there.

Hardeman, who is already a full-qualifier with a 3.7 GPA and 1060 SAT, is currently ranked 17th overall on the Heartland Recruiting Regional Top 160.

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