Class of 2011 prospect Eilar Hardy received his first verbal offer May 1st, courtesy of Maryland. The Terps are one of many schools trying to get a head start recruiting the talented prospect from Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School.
"It was crazy getting that first offer," Hardy said. "I did not know it was coming. I talked to coach John Donovan a couple of months ago. I did not think an offer would come. But it came and I was shocked. It is really nice, I could not believe it."
Hardy has also spoken to West Virginia, Cincinnati, Michigan State, and Louisville. He is receiving mail from Oregon and Notre Dame, and recently attended Ohio State's spring game.
"The spring game at Ohio State was great," Hardy stated. "The atmosphere was crazy. It was nice and warm out. There were a lot of athletes there. It was just really cool to be around that. I had a lot of fun."
Pickerington is a suburb of Columbus. Hardy said he has always followed the Buckeyes.
"My uncle went to Ohio State. I am around a lot of Buckeye fans. I grew up a fan of Ohio State, yes."
Hardy said he also followed Michigan State growing up.
"My brother (Terrance Brown) played football there at Michigan State. So I like the Spartans."
Both schools signed a player from Pickerington Central in the class of 2009- Jamie Wood to Ohio State, and Patrick White to Michigan State.
Though Hardy followed Ohio State and Michigan State growing up, he says he is going to keep an open perspective to his choices.
"I really don't have a favorite right now. I am just waiting and trying to figure out where I would fit in and see what happens. I am looking for good academics and a good atmosphere."
Hardy is planning on visiting two schools this summer- Illinois for the NIKE Football Training Camp on June 6th, and Ohio State's senior day the following weekend.
After that, Hardy will turn his focus to the upcoming season.
"We lost Pat and Jamie, but we have a lot of good players coming back to fill those holes. We will be fine."
Pickerington Central finished last season 13-1, falling to Cincinnati Elder 24-10 in the OHSAA Division 1 (Ohio's largest classification) semifinals.