MSU Baseball Signee Nick Hardy Interview

Nick Hardy, a 6-1, 180-pound outfielder who will play his first year of junior college ball at Meridian Community College this coming spring after batting .398 with 45 hits and 20 RBI as a senior at Madison Central High School in 2004, talked about his recruiting and why he chose to sign with Mississippi State.

Nick Hardy Profile

You are a true freshman at Meridian Community College this spring and will play there just one year, right?
"Yes sir."

That means you will be a sophomore in eligibility when you play for Mississippi State in the spring of 2006?
"That's right."

What position do you play?
"Right now, I'm in right field but I'm supposed to play center."

Who recruited you out of high school?
"West Alabama and Meridian (CC). Ole Miss recruited me a little bit. I committed to Meridian early."

Did State recruit you out of high school?
"No sir."

How did it come about that they decided to recruit you?
"They saw me play when Meridian played at State. (MSU assistant) Coach (Tommy) Raffo also told me that he saw me one game in high school and was impressed with what he saw that game."

You obviously made a big impression with their coaching staff since they started recruiting you after the game at State. How did you do that day?
"I was 3-for-5 and had a good outing in the outfield."

What schools showed interest in you?
"State and Ole Miss."

Did you take official visits to both?
"No sir, just State."

Talk about your official visit to Mississippi State and things you like about State.
"We got there Friday and ate dinner in the skybox at the baseball field. That was really cool. I really liked the atmosphere at State and the overall tradition they have with their baseball. It was all very impressive. Saturday night was when I met with Coach Polk. That was when he offered me (a scholarship)."

You didn't initially commit to Mississippi State when offered. What was your thought process and why did you decide to commit?
"I came to Meridian (CC) because I wanted to go on to bigger and better places and I had always dreamed of playing SEC baseball. The reason I waited (to accept the offer) was because I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. I looked at their outfield situation and had to decide if I would get playing time at State or did I need to stay one more year at Meridian. I was really concerned about playing time. That was my biggest question."

Who was your primary recruiting coach?
"Coach (Russ) McNickle."

What did he say the MSU coaching staff liked about you as a player?
"He said they liked how I hustle and play the game and my intensity."

Have you grown up a fan of any particular college?
"No sir, I wasn't a big fan of any particular school. I was kind of an underdog fan."

Quote from Coach Polk about Nick Hardy (Source: MSU Media Relations):

"What a tremendous addition Nick Hardy will be to our school and baseball program after he completes this year at Meridian Community College," said Polk. "He has all the offensive and defensive tools needed to play NCAA Division 1 baseball and we expect him to play a big role in our outfield next year. Not only is Nick a great baseball player but he is also a very gifted student." (He was a 4.0 student in high school. He is the son of Ricky and Suzanne Hardy of Flora, Miss.-Gene)

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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