Montario played running back, defensive back, and even some wide receiver last year, leading New Bern High School to the state 4AA finals.
"We finished 15-2 and lost in the state championship to Independence," he said. "We didn't play a good game, but we still had a good year. I had 1,980 yards rushing and around 18 touchdowns so it was good."
His exploits on both sides of the gridiron are so good that even he doesn't know where he projects at on the next level.
"I really don't really know. I've talked to coaches and have seen stuff on the internet that's had me at defensive back, but I'm not sure yet where exactly I'll play. It doesn't matter to me though."
Montario's already begun his recruiting process, starting with junior days at North Carolina and NC State.
"I went to State's Junior Day and Carolina's Junior Day. I was suppose to go down to Florida State's, but I think I have the SAT that weekend."
"I liked State's. Everything in there was nice. They got that new building which is great and I talked with Coach Amato. He's real cool and makes you feel good."
"Carolina's was good too. What I liked about them was how they had TVs in the lockers. That was something cool that I hadn't seen before."
It's apparent the in-state programs will be major players in the Hardesty sweepstakes, but he's definitely going to keep his options open and consider some of the top programs across the country.
"I like Carolina, State, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, and some others. I get so much mail that's it hard to really say who all I like right now, but those are some of them."
"I have offers from Carolina and State," he said. "I was happy about getting those because it feels good to know you'll be going to college for free. It was big to get those offers so early for me."
Hardesty's being recruited by Coach Manny Diaz for NC State. Diaz, the Linebackers coach in 2003, will now lead the defensive backs for the Wolfpack.
"Coach Diaz is real cool. I talked to him all the time while I was up at Junior Day. He told me he's the new Defensive Backs Coach for them, and if I played DB at State he would be my position coach."
Montario is not the only big-time prospect (and Wolfpack target) at New Bern. Offensive Lineman Julian Williams is one of the premier linemen in the country, and the two teammates are already being considered as top-10 players in the state of North Carolina.
"Whenever I need the extra yards I run behind Julian. He's a real big guy who can move so that's why he's good. I know Coach Barry at NC State really likes him."
Can we expect a quick decision from Hardesty? Not right now, as he's not even ready to name a clear leader.
"I don't really have a favorite. I'm just looking right now. I'm not sure if I'll choose before my season or not. I think it's going to depend on how I feel."
Athlete Montario Hardesty and Offensive Lineman Julian Williams