April 23, 2009

Hardy wants to decide before start of season

In previous recruiting cycles, the state of Wisconsin has produced at least one national prospect.

This year, unlike others, the talent in the Badger state is deep, but is lacking a marquee name. That said, in recent weeks, one prospect has started to separate from pack. That player: Mike Hardy, 6-foot-4, 255-pound strong-side defensive end from Kimberly, Wis.

Wednesday night, Badgerblitz caught up with Hardy to discuss his latest offer from the Wisconsin Badgers.

"I've been talking to Coach (Bob) Bostad about once every week," Hardy explained explained. "The coaches really wanted me to come down so they could speak with me in person. So, I went to a practice a few weeks ago and Coach (Bret) Bielema pulled me into his office to tell me he was going to offer a scholarship. He knew he was going to offer me for awhile, but really wanted me to come down so he could do it face-to-face.

"At first they weren't going to offer me because they wanted me to camp, but because I already had offers I told them I wasn't going to camp. They said they were going to change their whole recruiting process on me. After the staff was getting after me to come down and visit I kind of had a feeling something was up."

With offers now on the table from Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin, Hardy has a growing list of BCS schools to choose from this spring.

"It's just exciting to know I have that opportunity. Growing up in Wisconsin, every little kid has a dream of becoming a Badger," he said. "To have that opportunity in front of me, to know I could be a Badger is a cool feeling."

When asked if he had been waiting patiently for a UW offer, Hardy admittedly denied he hat on his hands and waited for one such offer.

"I wouldn't say I was necessarily waiting on this offer because I already had five other great opportunities," Hardy said. "It's just nice because I have another option. I will probably sit down sometime this week to look at all my options with my family and coaches.

"I would like to have my decision done before the football season starts. That way I can get it out of my mind and focus on football. At the beginning of the spring I had no idea I'd be getting recruited by BCS programs, it's still pretty amazing to me."

Hardy was a member of Kimberly's back-to-back Division 2 state championships in 2007 and 2008.

Wisconsin currently has one verbal commitment in its 2010 recruiting class in Konrad Zagzebski. Hard, along with Zagzebski, Marquis Mason and Will Hagerup, are the four known in-state prospects to have an offer from Wisconsin.

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