Wanting to turn his full attention toward the upcoming football season, McCallie School quarterback DeAngelo Hardy ended his recruiting process by committing to Kennesaw State University on Tuesday afternoon. Or so he hopes.
"I thought when I committed that it would put an end to a lot of the calls from other schools and I could just concentrate on getting ready for my senior season," Hardy said. "But it hasn't stopped coaches from other schools from still recruiting me.
"I had recently visited Kennesaw, and it felt good to let everyone know that this is where I'm going to continue my career. I was looking for the best opportunity for me, and this is an up-and-coming program that's been really good for a few years. Being closer to home really put them over the top, but I also loved how genuine the coaching staff was with me and how much I felt at home there. It just felt right, and now I can finally just focus on winning a state championship."
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Hardy, a dual-threat quarterback, ran for more than 1,200 yards and threw for more than 1,100 last season, combining for 22 touchdowns to help McCallie reach the Division II-AAA semifinals. He was a Mr. Football semifinalist and in one game, against Alabama power Madison Academy, he compiled 350 total yards (186 passing, 164 rushing).
He underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder shortly after last season ended.
"I'm back to doing everything now — throwing and running and conditioning my arm for the season," Hardy added. "It feels a lot better, and I'm anxious to get out there and show what I can do now that I'm healthy."
Hardy chose the Owls over offers from Wofford, Liberty, the Naval Academy and Army, among others. Kennesaw State, which plays in the Big South Conference, has reached the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals each of the last two years, compiling a 23-4 record during that span.
"DeAngelo is a tough guy and a great leader," Blue Tornado coach Ralph Potter said. "He's a great runner and option quarterback who makes good decisions, and we're hoping he will be a lot more comfortable and confident throwing the ball after the surgery. He played through it last year, and it's amazing that he was able to play with that.
"Two things that set him apart are his determination and will to succeed, and secondly how he makes everybody around him better."
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.