September 29, 2009

Hardy Visits Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bearcats had a number of high profile recruits in attendance for last Saturday's "white out" game against Fresno State, and Pickerington Central's Eilar Hardy was among them.

Even though Hardy is just a month into his junior year of high school, he already holds offers from three BCS schools- Cincinnati, West Virginia and Maryland, and the 6' 1"/175 pound athlete discussed his offers with Bearcat Lair.

"Cincinnati's was a personal letter. They were the second school to make an offer. Maryland offered last year, and West Virginia's came about two weeks ago."

The Columbus area junior could be considered a jack-of-all-trades for Pickerington Central since he plays wide receiver, running back, safety and kick returner. He was asked if he has a preference.

"It really doesn't matter, but I actually like the defensive side a little more. I'd like to play safety or some kind of DB in college." Hardy said the Bearcats are recruiting him to play safety.

At only 175 pounds, Hardy would be considered lightweight for the safety position by many colleges, but he thinks he possesses other more important qualities.

"I like to hit so I like that position." He also said his fastest forty-yard-dash time is 4.49 seconds, but he usually runs it in the low 4.5 range.

The Bearcats already have a Pickerington Central alum on their roster in redshirt sophomore Chazz Anderson, but the UC quarterback probably won't be able to help much in Hardy's recruitment. Eilar said he was only in the eighth grade when Chazz was starring for the school as a senior.

Although Hardy is predictably an Ohio State fan, he also enjoyed his unofficial visit to Cincinnati.

"The whole campus, the atmosphere, the stadium and the facilities were all nice. I liked it." It wasn't Hardy's first visit to Cincinnati since he's attended some camps there, but it was his first exposure to Nippert Stadium on game day.

Even though Nippert Stadium doesn't hold 100,000 fans, it can still be a very exciting venue, and Hardy seemed especially impressed with the "white out."

"It was nice. There was a bunch of white. I liked it." Cincinnati fans wore as much white as possible to show their solidarity inside the stadium.

Hardy attended the game with his father (Bill) and teammate, Tyler Hammond, Pickerington Central's 5' 8"/160 pound junior running back. He also met up with quarterback Cole Stoudt (Dublin Coffman) and his father (Cliff) at the UC game. Cliff Stoudt and Bill Hardy both attended Youngstown State University together. Stoudt starred in football and played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for many years while Hardy played both basketball and baseball for the Penguins and still holds some baseball records according to Eilar.

Hardy has helped the Tigers to a 4-1 record so far this season. Their lone loss was to Lancaster High School. After starting at safety last season as a sophomore, Hardy seldom comes off the field this season as a two-way player and kick returner.

The Bearcats received their highest ranking ever this week when the AP poll listed them at No. 10, and Hardy says the recent success at Cincinnati has caused him to start paying closer attention to the program.

"I never paid that much attention to them, at least not as much as I should have. A couple years ago, I didn't know too much about them, but now they are one of my top schools that I would like to go to." Coach Tim Hinton is in charge of recruiting Hardy for the Bearcats.

Although the Bearcats sound as if they are certainly in the hunt, this recruiting battle is ongoing as Hardy announced his tentative plans.

"I'm going to go to West Virginia in about two weeks, I think, and I'm going to try and make it to Maryland some time this year too."

In addition to starring in football, Hardy also plays basketball and runs track for the Tigers.

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