Jordon Hardwick gave his verbal commitment to head coach Chuck Martin and the Miami RedHawks via his Twitter on Tuesday. He followed that up with the new favorite hashtag of Miami verbals, #TheChuckMartinEra.
When Hardwick was asked what attracted him to Miami, two things jumped out at him right away: Home and family. The 15th ranked prospect out of Missouri, as rated by Rivals, took visits to Tulsa, Ball State, and others, but found that Oxford felt like home. "The campus was great," he said, "of course there's also the academics." Hardwick hasn't decided on a major yet, but he's leaning towards a career in sports medicine or teaching. When it comes to family, he talked about how not only the coaches have made him feel welcome, but also his future teammates in the class of 2015. "The coaching staff made me feel like a priority and like I was wanted there. The staff has been really successful, and other staffs have been too, but I this staff will take Miami where it needs to be." Hardwick also noted it didn't stop at the coaches. "The other recruits all congratulated me, welcomed me, and really made me feel like family."
Hardwick told us his first contact with Miami started when Miami's defensive line coach, Corey Brown, visited him at a workout. "I broke my person record for the push press twice. I broke my record once, added more weight and broke it again," he said. Not long after, Hardwick was told he had an offer to play for the RedHawks.
Scout has been high on Hardwick, talking about his "great size, skill and athleticism". As a sophomore, he had around 100 tackles, four sacks and an interception. This season, he'll play running back and defensive end for St. Vianney HS, but in college he'll project as a defensive end or outside linebacker, depending on what defense Coach Martin's staff chooses to implement. Regardless, it's obvious that the coaching staff wants to strengthen the offensive and defensive lines, with this class having commitments from eight lineman.
Aside from Miami, Hardwick held offers from Buffalo, Ball State, Tulsa, Wyoming and had a handful of FCS offers on top of that. He'll be a big factor for Miami, who is looking to improve the pressure on the defensive line. Here are some of his highlights from Hudl: