Though he still plans on making his college decision some time next month, recruiting was put on the backburner for Mike Hardy, who recently captured a WIAA Division 1 state title in the discus this past weekend.
The three-star prospect still has a few schools at the top of his list, and is planning on making a few more visits in the near future.
The following is a question and answer with the 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end from Kimberly High School in Wisconsin:
How is the mouth, I know you just got your wisdom teeth removed?
Hardy It's good. I was a little out of it last night, but it's not too bad today.
Can you talk about this past weekend? You came away a state champion in the discus.
I was in it Friday for shot put, too, but I didn't do as well as I wanted to; I didn't even make it into the finals. For what I was throwing, I thought I should have at least been in the top four. So, the next day I really felt like I needed to redeem myself in the disc. I also wanted to throw for my teammate (Clint Heckner) that went down with a knee injury. He was a senior, so I wanted to throw well for him, too, because he couldn't be out there with me.
Fortunately for me, I didn't throw very well in sectionals so I had a lower seed on Saturday. It was raining toward the end of the day and the conditions were real bad, but I was able to get my throws off while it was still decent out. I actually just threw in my tennis shoes because it was slippery all over the place. I thought I would be able to place in the upper half, but I ended up at the top, which was a real great honor for me and my team.
On the recruiting front, have things slowed down a little bit?
Yeah, a little bit, especially with track and everything. I really just wanted to focus on school and track, but just the other week, my coach told me that Nebraska had offered. A couple weeks before they offered, they told me they were reviewing my tape and I guess they liked it. I'm hoping to go out and visit my top schools, hopefully this month, so I can make my decision by July.
Do you have any of those visits planned out? I know Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota were among the favorites.
Yeah, but I haven't sat down with my parents yet to set the dates. I've only visited Iowa and Minnesota once each, and I've been down to Wisconsin three times. I really don't think I would have to visit Wisconsin. And ever since Nebraska came in the picture, my coach thinks that it would be a good idea to make a visit out there because Nebraska is a real good program.
You're pretty versatile and I know your primary position is at defensive end, but have coaches talked about you playing any other positions? Possibly tight end or even bulking up to play defensive tackle?
Most of them are telling me defensive end, but a lot of them said I could move to offense if they needed me to. Well, Purdue said they would put me on offense right away, and Wisconsin said that if defensive end didn't work out that tight end would be an option. I don't know, that's what Coach (Bret) Bielema said.
The last time we talked you said you probably weren't going to camp at Wisconsin. Is that still the plan?
I don't think I'm going to go to any camps because I already have the offers. Most people that go to camps are looking to get evaluated and then an offer may come at the end. And I'm already going to a high school camp with the team, so I'll be pretty busy.
Do you feel any added pressure at a school like Kimberly that has had so much success? Now that it's your senior year and you are going to try and keep that legacy going?
I guess so, because when we won our first championship, that kind of starting things and you want to keep it going; you don't want to be the class that comes up short. Every team wants to win a championship, and I think it all depends on how the senior class sets the tone. I think everyone gets along on our team, from our seniors to our freshmen. As long as we stick to it, I think we can get the job done again.
As you near your decision, what are you looking for and what could put a school over the top?
My major is pretty important. At a lot of schools, I would have to take a double major in order to do what I wanted to do, but some places I would just have to take a kinesiology major. I want to be a strength and conditioning coach. That, and the resources that I would be able to get are very important. How good is the strength coach there, because I could do an internship with him. Once I graduate, I want that experience under my belt.
You seem pretty set on that major, has Wisconsin set out that academic path for you?
Yeah, Wisconsin said it would just be a kinesiology major and they laid everything out for me.
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