During the Spring, Rutgers has added two scholarship players to the roster - Matt Hardison and Antonio Lowery. Both were original 2006 signees and both utilized the six months away from football to increase their physical stature.
For Hardison, he has made great strides since the summer following his junior year. The below photo depicts the improvement in his physical appearance over the last two years.
In the right portion of the photo, Hardison was a 6'4"-230lbs DE prospect. The left portion of the photo show Hardison current appearance as a 6'4"-280lb DT. As he rehabbed from his knee after it was hurt in a dunk contest, Hardison primarily lifted and ran resulting in a great change in his body.
SOR had a chance to discuss Hardison's progress in his recovery and pursuit of a starting position. Hardison stated "my speed is pretty good right now, but i am still getting back into the swing of things. It is taking a little time". He is doing well enough to be competing to be in the DL rotation. After over a year away from football, it is fairly impressive that Hardison is competing for a position in the DL rotation. One of the things that is effecting his progress is learning the techniques in his new position. He states, " for the most part I understand what I have to do, right now it is just doing it". But he realizes his need for improvement when ask what do you believe are the areas you need to improve on, he says "football. I am moving a little slow right now. I have to think a lot because I am learning."
Judging from the April 15th practice, Hardison seems to be still focused and working hard towards his goal of starting. If he continues adjustment and hard work, he appears to have a good chance to be in the rotation. But there is a little less than five months before we will find out if he meets his goal. Stay tuned.