All-purpose back Montario Hardesty now holds more than 20 offers from some of the top programs in the nation, and soon he'll start to set up his official visits. Which schools does he plan on going to?
"I think I'll know where I'm taking all of my officials by maybe the early or middle part of September, because my dad and I had planned on narrowing things down to five or six schools by then," said Hardesty. "But right now I'm pretty sure I'll take an official to Nebraska. They've recruited me hard for a while and I think they have the right staff to get things back to where they want them to be."
The 6-foot-0, 190-pound back from New Bern, N.C. plays for a squad that has recently got attention for their stingy defense. But Hardesty has shot up the rankings in recent months, and is rated the No. 13 overall prospect in North Carolina. What schools is he looking at?
"Like I said, I haven't tried to narrow things down too much, but I will in the next three or four weeks. I'm looking at schools like Nebraska, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Florida State, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Tennessee. I'd say all of those schools are even at this point."
Will schools like UNC and NC State have an advantage because of their location?
"I know more about them because I'm near the schools, they've recruited me a long time and I hear their fans talk every day. But a lot of the schools I like aren't far from home. They might not be in this state, but they aren't far. And the schools I'm interested in like Nebraska, Notre Dame, Florida State -- schools like that -- have impressed me enough to make me not care about the distance."
As a junior Hardesty carried the ball 263 times for 1,987 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 307 yards and two scores.