Isaiah Hardy's grades kept him from getting much recruiting attention while at Timber Creek High School in New Jersey, but he’s become a major Division I product in junior college.
“It was mostly Big 10 and some SEC, but when they saw my grades that just didn’t want anything to do with me,” Hardy said. “The only offer I had out of high school was Temple. After they saw my grades, they didn’t really want to see me. But my grades are great now.”
“This program, if you work really hard, it’s impossible for you not to get out,” Hardy said. “Unless you really don’t want to try. You have to try not to get out here.”
Lackawanna’s most notable products in recent years are probably the White brothers, Kevin, Ka’Raun and Kyzir.
Kevin White was a first-round pick by the Chicago Bears a year ago after a breakthrough senior season at West Virginia. Ka'Raun White is going into his senior season as a wide receiver with the Mountaineers in 2016. Kyzir White is a safety at Lackawanna, but has already signed on to continue his career at West Virginia.
Hardy, who plays left guard at Lackawanna, was selected to the Northeast Football Conference’s third team following his freshman season and looks the part of another impressive future D-1 player.
“The only reason I’m a guard is because when I came I was heavy and they said they wanted to get my feet quicker,” Hardy said. “After the fall season with them I got all that straight, but they kept me at guard because they liked me there. I don’t mind at all.”
As about the strengths of his game, the big fella first pointed to his imposing size.
“I’m big,” Hardy said. “I’m pretty quick and fast for a big guy. I’m aggressive. I’m very aggressive and I fire off the ball. I adapt to anything I need to adapt to and I’m coachable.”
Hardy’s first scholarship offer came from the Mountaineers.
“I’ve been playing football my whole life and just knowing that I have somewhere to go after this, going to the next level, it’s just amazing to me that I have somewhere to go,” he said.
He received an offer from Missouri after Tigers offensive coordinator Josh Heupel saw him practice.
Asked what schools he liked when he was younger, Hardy pointed to Clemson and Alabama — “because they were a powerhouse,” he said.
“My dream school was Clemson but they don’t accept JUCOs,” Hardy said, “so now I’m just hoping for whatever — whatever is going to help me get to the next level and whatever’s going to help me be a better me.”
Hardy hasn’t scheduled any school visits yet, but he knows he wants to see one of the first two schools that offered him.
“I want to take a visit to West Virginia,” Hardy said. “I don’t know when, it’s not set up, but I know I want to take that visit. As far as anything else, no, it’s just West Virginia whenever.”