Back Jaden Hardy: “The Power That Lies Within”

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Jaden Hardy: “The Power That Lies Within”

By Barry Every
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The 6-foot-3, 275-pound physical Phenom recorded 40 tackles, five TFL’s, six QBH’s and three sacks as a sophomore.

In his seven seasons at the helm of Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine Football Danny Britt has guided the Cadets to an (85-11) record and two State Championships. In each of those years Benedictine has reached the quarterfinals or further since Britt took over.

This past season Benedictine transitioned from GHSA-AA to GHSA-AAA; despite the jump the Cadets were able to capture their fourth consecutive Region Crown. As a matter of fact the Cadets haven’t lost a region contest since 2014.

One of the players that have made a major impact for the Cadets over the past two seasons is junior defensive end Jaden Hardy. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound physical Phenom recorded 40 tackles, five TFL’s, six QBH’s and three sacks as a sophomore.

Unfortunately Hardy suffered a knee injury this past February while attending a camp. It looked like his junior campaign would be in jeopardy. But Hardy made a valiant comeback and ended the season with 47 tackles, 19 TFL’s, 12.5 sacks and six QBH’s. Despite missing three games he still led the team in tackles for loss and sacks.

“This is a smart young man that is always where he is supposed to be; he worked really hard to get back from his injury,” Britt said. “He is probably under 10% body fat and just continually works to improve his skillset and body type. He has become a player to be accounted for as a pass rusher. Hardy has the size and body type to play inside or outside.”

At this time Hardy has garnered offers from Kentucky, Louisville and Virginia and is receiving strong interest from Northwestern and Notre Dame. He admits he would love to hear more from Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.

The only college camp he has ever attended was at Auburn prior to his sophomore season. As of now he has an aggressive camp schedule planned for this coming spring. Hardy would like to attend a camp at every Power-Five School in the southeast.

“I’m confident that he will blow up and become a national level recruit,” Britt said. He could end up with almost any offer once they see him in person. This young man simply looks the part; he is very strong and has massive active hands.”

Hardy’s weight may be a little down right now because he is a power forward/center on the Benedictine Basketball squad. He will also be playing baseball this spring, something he knows a little about considering his father is the Head Baseball Coach at Savannah State.

He is not a slouch in the weight room or the classroom either. Right now his bench press is over 300-pounds and prior the knee injury he could squat 420-pounds and power clean 250. This past Saturday he took the SAT for the first time and maintains a 3.1 GPA.

His football prowess has not gone unnoticed as he was invited to all three Georgia underclassmen all-star games. Hardy received invitations from the GACA All-Star Classic, the Georgia Elite Classic and the prestigious Rising Seniors Game. Unfortunately he is unable to attend because of his commitment to his teammates on the hardwood.

“I’m trying to model my game after NFL great Khalil Mack as I feel my forte is setting the edge,” Hardy said. “I’m always working on my speed and quickness and I always find time to weightlift after basketball practice. I also continue to do rehab on my knee three days a week with the school trainer.”

With a busy dance card of basketball and then the ball diamond Hardy still understands his future in on the gridiron. Not only that he will be asked to give senior leadership to his fellow Cadets as they set their goals for a trip to the Mercedes Benz Dome in 2019.

“Next year I think we will have more experience on the field, and it’s up to me be a game changer,” Hardy said. ‘I simply have to create more turnovers and get in the quarterbacks face more often.”

Having personally seen the progress Hardy has made between his sophomore season and junior year the stars are about to align. From head to toe this physical war-horse is dripping of jumbo sized quick twitch muscle fiber. His upper body has absolutely no bad body weight and his arms are like tree trunks. Just shake his hand one time and you will understand the power that lies within

His body type is the rarest and most coveted of any position group on the field. He possesses the quickness and power to dominate off the edge and the strength to anchor down the middle front. I predict Benedictine to be one of the most heavily recruited schools in Georgia over the next year. Look for Hardy’s offer list to logarithmically escalate.