Templeton Hardy recruiting update

Historically, Mississippi has not been a recruiting hotbed for Pete Carroll and staff, but it looks like the Trojans now have good reason to step foot inside the Magnolia State.

Sardis (MS) North Panola HS defensive tackle Templeton Hardy already had an impressive list of offers, but that list became even more impressive Monday with the addition of a scholarship offer from USC.

"I got offered from USC on Monday," said Hardy. "I like their school, so it was really, really exciting."

Hardy's name may seem relatively new to those who follow Trojan recruiting, but as Hardy told WeAreSC.com, there has been a good amount of contact between both sides stemming from a trip to Mississippi in the spring for Pete Carroll.

"A couple months ago they (USC) came to our school," he said. "I talked to Coach Pete Carroll over the phone on Monday and they offered me a scholarship. They told me that they love my quickness for my size and they also like how I have good grades in the classroom."

Hardy is not lying about his classroom efforts, as the talented defensive lineman carries a GPA greater then 3.3 on top of his achievements on the gridiron, making him a highly sought after prospect. So it comes as no surprise that Hardy is actually the first player from the state of Mississippi to be offered a scholarship by USC since Pete Carroll took over as head coach.

"Yes sir," answered Hardy. "That's a good feeling, a very good feeling to know that."

Hardy had a top five in mind prior to Monday, but the Trojan offer may have Hardy shuffling around his top list of schools.

"I actually do have a top five in my head," he said. "Right now it would be Oklahoma State, Alabama, North Carolina State, LSU and Auburn. Mississippi State and Alabama are recruiting me the hardest, and they are both standing out right now for me."

Although the Trojans did not make Hardy's initial top five, they are in line to receive an official visit in the fall, which should come as welcoming news to all who follow Trojan recruiting.

"Right now, I have four schools that I would like to officially visit," said Hardy. "They would be USC, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M."

While the distance from Mississippi to California may seem like a deterring factor working against the Trojans, a family connection in the Los Angeles area may bridge the gap in hopes of luring the talented three-technique westward.

"Distance will not play a factor in my decision," he said. "I can go anywhere and play really. USC is a title team and they know how to win, I am going to give them a look. I also have uncles and cousins that live in Los Angeles, and we are actually pretty close."

While it seems like most prospects now-a-days look to make a decision on their college choice relatively early, Hardy is no hurry, and would like to wait the process out a while before making any decisions.

"I want to decide at the end of my senior season," said Hardy. "I'm going to be looking for a family atmosphere and a good education, both are very important to me. Feeling comfortable is also big for me."

Hardy already knows his intended major, which may play a key role in his recruitment.

"I want to major in graphic design," he said. "I just got the offer from USC, so I haven't had much time to do research on the majors that they offer. That is something I will do here soon."

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