"It was unbelievable."
Those were the words of running back – Montario Hardesty out of New Bern, North Carolina. Hardesty, fresh off his official visit to Nebraska came away impressed. "I didn't really know what to expect coming in." he said. "I knew some stuff about it from coach Jordan (Randy Jordan), but you never know until you see it for yourself."
Much of what Montario didn't know about Nebraska was what most assume about a place that exists dead center Midwestern U.S. To put it simply, there's lot of corn. Hardesty chuckled a bit as he tried to think about what he was thinking before he actually arrived. "I don't know, you get just this idea in your head about what it might look like." He said. "Like, I was expecting this little town in the middle of nowhere and just lots of corn all over the place."
"It wasn't like that at all. It was a nice size town, spread out and it was just a great experience."
One of the overriding experiences was of course, the atmosphere of the actual game itself. The "Sea of Red", the "Tunnelwalk", all was a little surprising as well to the New Bern High School standout. "The people there are amazing." He said. "They cheer like crazy and basically, they are crazy. It was really loud there before the game actually got going."
Along with his host and fellow North Carolina native, Shamus McKoy, Hardesty got to meet tons of people, talk to all the coaches and figure out just how he might fit in at NU. To Montario's delight, what he saw of how he might fit in even better than he had assumed before he arrived. "It's an NFL offense they run, but they run it to suit the strengths of their players." Montario said. "I know what I can do and if I was in there, they would be able to cater their play calls to everything I did well."
"I like that, because it means I know that the coaches won't try to change me if I go there. They will just try to make me better at what I already do."
Hardesty's experience wasn't unique, at least according to Montario himself. As a visitor amongst 6 others attending, Montario got a chance to meet everyone that came to see Lincoln, all for the very first time. And, according to Hardesty, there was one player that appeared to be just as impressed as he was with his official visit to Lincoln. "I talked to Nyan Boateng a lot when I was there." He said. "And, I know he liked it a lot. He likes the offense kind of the way I do, because we both see early opportunities to play."
With this being his first official visit, Hardesty still plans on visiting Tennessee and probably N.C. State and more he's yet to figure out as to just who those teams will be. You would be correct in assuming as well, that while Hardesty had a great visit at NU, he's no doubt going to have similar experiences at all the other places he goes.
Montario agreed on that, but pointed out that while he's expecting good visits no matter where he goes, he said that the first place he went is going to be hard to beat. "Before I got here, I would have still said that Nebraska as a definite top five." Hardesty said. "Now, they are one or two and I don't know who the other one is going to be."
"I was just really impressed with everything there. It was better than I would have hoped, so Nebraska is definitely a place that I am going to think even more seriously about now."