January 13, 2009

Hardy's choice appears imminent

Four-star running back Kendrick Hardy has consistently said he would visit Southern Mississippi before announcing his college choice.

The Monticello (Lawrence County), Miss., native and U.S. Army All-American selection spent last weekend in Hattiesburg.

Sure enough, a decision appears to be imminent.

"I'm just trying to take my time right now," Hardy said Monday night. "It'll be soon, I think."

Pressed to provide a more specific timetable for an announcement, Hardy said he would pick his collegiate home "within a week."

From all indications, Hardy will either choose Ole Miss or Southern Miss. Ole Miss safeties coach Kim Dameron, who has spearheaded the Rebels' recruiting efforts for Hardy, called the 6-foot, 210-pounder earlier Monday evening.

"He asked me if I was ready to commit and how my visit went to Southern," Hardy said. "I told him I wasn't quite ready yet."

Hardy said he has viewed Ole Miss' patience throughout the process as a positive. Interestingly, Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora took a different approach on Sunday with his meeting with Hardy.

"He told me that they only had one slot for a running back left," Hardy said. "I told him I'm going to get back with him."

As for the visit to Hattiesburg, Hardy said, "It went good. We viewed the campus, looked at the locker room. That's about it."

Hardy, who said he doesn't have any more official visits planned, visited Ole Miss in early December.

"I liked both of them," Hardy said. "I don't have a favorite. …They're talking about using me as the same way, but one's in a shotgun and one's in an I-formation. It doesn't matter. I'm comfortable with both of them. It doesn't really matter right now."

Hardy is ranked as the nation's No. 4 downhill runner, the No. 8 running back and the No. 69 overall prospect in the country by Rivals.com. Ole Miss, which has a commitment from four-star Rodney Scott already, has told Hardy it views him as the power back that's missing in the Rebels' rushing arsenal.

"Ole Miss has told me they have a lot of running backs committed to them, but they were going to need a power back," Hardy said. "They told me when I got back from Southern to think about it and then go on and commit."

It looks like that's exactly what's going to happen, though Hardy's not hinting which school is getting the good news in the coming days.

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