Updated with more information at 1:35 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2019.
McCallie defensive lineman Jay Hardy committed to Auburn on Wednesday morning, choosing the Tigers over Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee during a ceremony at McCallie. He had recently narrowed his list of schools to those five from more than 30 programs that had extended scholarship offers.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Hardy is rated a four-star prospect by the 247Sports.com composite, which factors in the rankings of 247Sports, Rivals.com and ESPN.com. He's ranked the fifth-best football recruit for the 2020 signing class in the state of Tennessee as well as the state's No. 5 strongside defensive end, according to 247Sports.
"It was a family-friendly place and I felt like I have a good relationship with the coaches," Hardy said. "I felt it as soon as I went through the walk-through and got around all the players. It felt comfortable being around all of them.
"Now I'm looking forward to hopefully winning a state championship and then becoming an Auburn Tiger."
Hardy's Blue Tornado are 8-2 and will face Christian Brothers when the Division II-AAA playoffs begin next week.
Hardy made his official visit to Auburn last weekend, one week after his official visit to Tennessee.
Commitments are nonbinding until players sign, and Hardy's earliest opportunity to do that will be Dec. 18-20. The traditional national signing day for the 2020 class is Feb. 5.
After missing four weeks with a strained MCL in his right knee — suffered on a cheap-shot hit by a West Forsyth (Georgia) player — Hardy returned to the field for McCallie's final two regular-season games.
"It's really tough on these guys in making these decisions. We're glad this part is over, but signing day is still a ways away," Blue Tornado coach Ralph Potter said. "He's got great upside. He's just tapping into what he could be. Physically I think he can be a dominant defensive lineman with a great future."