McCallie’s Jay Hardy made the toughest decision of his life public Wednesday morning in front of a host of McCallie students, coaches and family members.
The All-State defensive lineman for the Blue Tornado announced his future plans for football when he quietly said that Auburn University would be where he intends to spend the next four years.
Hardy, a day student from Chattanooga who has been at McCallie since the ninth grade, was a most sought-after lineman in the state with offers from 45 schools, including every school in the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and many others in the Big 10 and PAC 12.
Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Auburn were his final five considerations, but he ultimately grabbed an Auburn hat when he let it be known that he intended to be a War Eagle next fall.
“I just want to thank my parents, coach Potter and other coaches and many friends who have helped me and encouraged me along the way, but I choose Auburn University,” the 6-4, 300-pound senior said in front of a host of folks in McCallie’s Sports And Activities Center Wednesday morning.
“I made my last trip to Auburn last weekend and it just felt like the right place for me to be. Right now, I just want to concentrate on helping my team here win a state championship,” the 17-year-old son of John and Shelly Hardy said before heading to his first class of the day.
McCallie coach Ralph Potter is just glad that this part of the recruiting process is over and that he can turn his full attention to the playoffs where the Blue Tornado will entertain Christian Brothers next Friday in the first round.
“I’m glad this part of it is over as it was a long and hard decision for him to make. Signing day is still a ways away, but Jay is just now starting to tap into his potential as a dominant defensive lineman. You can build a defense around him and I’m sure he’ll do just fine at the next level,” Potter predicted.
“I thought that Tennessee was his top choice, but he picked Auburn after going down there last weekend. I really didn’t care where he went as long as he felt comfortable with his decision. He missed two full games and part of another with his knee injury, but he’s about back to full speed and we’re getting ready for the playoffs,” the veteran coach added.
Hardy has recorded 20 tackles for McCallie this fall, including 10 for lost yardage. He also has three sacks, four passes deflected and two touchdown passes caught from his tight end position.
Hardy was joined by his parents and younger sister Jaylah for Wednesday’s big announcement.
Hardy is also an outstanding basketball player for McCallie and he said that he plans to major in Civil Engineering at Auburn.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)