Daniel Hardy had not heard from Josh Taufalele for a few weeks when he received a phone call on one of the most trying days of his life.
The outside linebacker from College of the Siskiyous first heard from Montana State’s offensive line coach following his first season of college football. The Bobcats had stayed in touch, trying to get to know the raw but talented edge rusher during his recruitment.
Hardy, a standout high school basketball at Valley Catholic in Beaverton, Oregon, did not start playing football until his senior year of high school. Throughout his prep career, Hardy had the balance his athletic pursuits with the heartbreak taking place at home.
During his sophomore year, Hardy’s father Wilbert Hardy was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The Reverend Hardy served as a beloved, humble spiritual leader for Portland’s African American community, “inspiring so many others with his dynamic sermons and lifelong service to his church and community”, according to the Portland Tribune. On February 6, Wilbert Hardy succumbed to his three-year battle.
Taufalele, Hardy’s primary recruiter, called the young prospect to express his condolences before giving Hardy his space to grieve. About six weeks later, Taufalele and defensive line coach Byron Hout called Hardy together, this time with more uplifting news: the Bobcats had a full scholarship offer for the 6-foot-4, 210-pound JC freshman.
Photos courtesy of Daniel Hardy. All Rights Reserved.