Fort Scott Community College had a bye this week so there was no better opportunity for Jermarcus Hardrick to get a close look at the place he will call home beginning in January.
Hardrick, who is every bit of the 6-foot-7, 315 pounds that his profile states, made it into town on Friday, and despite the weekend being a wash due to the weather he couldn’t think of any place he would have rather been than Baton Rouge.
“It may have rained a lot but there was no other place I wanted to be this weekend,” said Hardrick. “Rain or no rain, it doesn’t get any better than LSU.”
Hardrick flew into town and met up with his mother who made the drive over from Batesville, Miss. This was Hardrick’s second time in Baton Rouge as he stopped by and met with the coaches during the spring of his junior year at South Panola High School.
This, however, was his mother’s first trip to Baton Rouge, and she didn’t quite get enough.
“She loved it,” said the four-star offensive tackle. “She didn’t want to leave. That was her first college game so she hasn’t stopped talking about it.”
Something else that she loved was getting a chance to see her son which is something that hasn’t been easy since he’s been in Kansas for the past year.
“Being able to see me was a big factor in me choosing LSU and it made us both realize even more just how great of an opportunity this is,” said Hardrick.
Hardrick said that the facilities that will help him on and off the field was more than he ever imagined, and that was just one of several aspects of the trip that exceeded his expectations.
“The academic center was unbelievable and that was something that me and my mom both liked a lot,” said Hardrick. “You know LSU has everything you need to be a great football player, but they also have everything to make you successful all around. It just doesn’t get any better.”
A trio of true freshmen hosted Hardrick over the weekend in Chris Faulk, Rueben Randle and Josh Williford. They did their part in making him feel at home, and so did LSU offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and headman Les Miles.
“Coach Miles and coach (Studrawa) laid it all out for me,” said Hardrick, who is commonly referred to as “Yoshi” amongst his friends and family. “They said they weren’t recruiting me to just come in and be a part of something. They said they needed me to come in and to be ready to play. They stressed to make sure I stay focused and just get there in December.”
LSU needs Hardrick to graduate in December so that he can take part in spring drills and compete for the starting left tackle spot that will be vacated by four-year starter Ciron Black.
In order to make it there on that timeline, Hardrick said that he needs 13 credits this semester and he’s currently taking 14. He also says that he will have the necessary English and Math requirements that the Southeastern Conference mandates.
Hardrick added that he was already focused and determined to get down to Baton Rouge in January, but now he has something to cling to that will drive him even more when times get tough in Kansas.
“LSU is everything I could ever hope for and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by,” he said. “It can’t be better anywhere else and I can’t wait to get back down there for good. I will be at LSU in the spring.”