Hardman Hopes To Impress OSU

TE/OL Derek Hardman of Spencer, WV was back at Ohio State this weekend trying to make an impression on the staff. Gary Housteau caught up with him to find out what he thought of camp.

One tight end prospect who was really glad to be back at Ohio State was Derek Hardman of Roane County High School in Spencer, West Virginia. Hardman just recently attended the Nike camp at OSU in April.

"I liked it a lot, it was fun. It was nice to get back down there. Again, I was impressed with their facilities," Hardman said. "Probably the best thing that I liked was going to the stadium. We got to eat in the press box, and I liked that a lot. Just to get the feeling from the stadium is awesome. But overall I think I did alright with the agility and the testing."

Hardman has been to quite a few games at Ohio State with his family and his great uncle Von Hardman who played for the Buckeyes in the early 1960's, but he said this time it was different.

"No one was in the stadium or in the press box when we went up to the press box, and I've never been up there," he said, "so it was real nice."

At 6-6, 259 pounds, Hardman worked out with the tight ends at the camp. He ran a 5.1 second 40-yard dash, and he was clocked at 4.9 seconds in the shuttle.

"I thought I performed decent and showed what I got in front of the coaches," he said. "There was a few really good tight ends there. It's nice to compare yourself to those other people to see where you're at and what you need to work on. So I thought the camp was good for me all the way around."

Of course, Ohio State would be at the top of his wish list, but he left camp with no certain inclination of how or where he stands in their pecking order of tight end prospects.

"I've always liked Ohio State, but really I don't know. For me it's really wide open," he said. "I guess it's up to them if they like me but I'm going to do the best that I can to get them to like me. They told me to keep up the good work, and one coach told me to make sure that I get a tape to them in August but that's about it."

Hardman camped at James Madison, Marshall, West Virginia, Pitt and Ohio State this summer and was offered a scholarship by James Madison. He can see himself playing at either tight end or tackle in college.

"A lot of coaches have told me that my built is better suited for tackle, but some still like me as a tight end," Hardman said. "It's really up to the place that I play at. I'm open for anything if it's up to me. I just want to play."

Hardman has 4.0 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT and 1060 on the SAT.

"It would be real special to be a Buckeye, and I really like the school, but we have to wait and see if they like me," Hardman said. "I'll do my best to try to impress them."

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