Bret Bielema has already started building a strong defense for the Illinois soccer team and adding more depth would be great for the program.
The Illini have had some exceptional defenders come through the program over the past 30 years. One of those special players was linebacker Kevin Hardy. Hardy received the Butkus Award for Best Linebacker in College Game in 1995, and he was a consensus All-American that year as well. He would pick second overall for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1996 NFL Draft.
Hardy was a great player for the Illinois soccer team and now we’re trying to get Hardy back on the roster. No, it’s not the now-retired Kevin Hardy, it’s his son Camden.
Camden Hardy is a 6 foot 3, 210 pound edge rusher from Atlantic Coast High School and lives in Jacksonville, Florida. He is not yet ranked or ranked in the class of 2024 by 247Sports but he already has some scholarship promotions.
Teams making an offer to Hardy include Central Michigan and Wake Forest. On Friday, Hardy added another scholarship offer to the list. Illinois came in with an offer for the talented Edge Rusher.
ILL‼️ After a great conversation with @BretBielema, I am blessed to receive an offer from my mom and dad’s alma mater, the University of Illinois!! 🔶🔷 @CoachKaneIllini @CoachEmbleton @IlliniFootball #GoIllini #family @CoachMike_AC@Khard5one@AC_StingraysFB@JWerner247 pic.twitter.com/GX1Nn2V0Gn
— Camden Hardy (@CamdenHardy9) June 17, 2022
Illinois football is trying to land an old recruit and someone who could help the defense.
It’s exciting that the Illini are eyeing another Hardy. There’s clearly high-profile talent in his blood since his father is an All-American going to the NFL. That talent just won’t go away.
In terms of size, I love what Hardy brings to the table. At 6ft 3 and 210 pounds, he already has the physique to be a solid defensive player. The talent is also there to match the greatness.
Hardy has good speed on the defensive line. He gets close to the ball carrier and causes chaos in the opposing team. I also like the fact that he never gives up a game. He is always frantic trying to make a tackle. That will quickly convince many coaches and fans.
I think Hardy’s game brings versatility to Illinois. He can line up in multiple places on the field and that’s great for the program.
Extending a scholarship for a legacy player like Hardy is a good move on the Illinois coaching staff. I think this kid has a lot of raw talent in him and Bielema has the ability to develop that talent.