USF gets release on ex-FSU lineman
USF, already home to nine Division I-A transfers on its current roster, could have another one coming this month.
Matt Hardrick, a huge offensive tackle who was a four-star recruit at Orlando Edgewater in 2004, was dismissed and granted his release from Florida State this week after one season with the Seminoles, and USF is one of the schools he's considering for a transfer.
USF's compliance office got his release papers Wednesday and passed them along to the football office. Coach Jim Leavitt, reached Wednesday afternoon, said he had gotten the release but had not talked to Hardrick and did not know enough about Hardrick or his situation at Florida State to have an opinion on whether USF would pursue him. The Bulls recruited him heavily out of high school and were one of his final options.
Hardrick's mother, Mia Robinson, said Thursday that Hardrick had requested releases to the state's other major college football programs: Florida, Miami, Central Florida and USF. FSU is unlikely to grant the release to Miami, an ACC rival, nor Florida, which plays the Seminoles annually. Robinson said her son is also considering I-AA schools, including Hampton and Illinois State, which would allow him to play this fall.
Hardrick was rated a four-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com in 2004, but he would come to USF with both academic and legal issues. Hardrick failed to qualify after signing with FSU in 2005 and joined the Seminoles in 2006 after a year at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. He also was arrested in Orlando in April on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and possession of marijuana, and according to FDLE records, had a juvenile arrest for burglary and larceny.
Hardrick, who was listed at 330 pounds on FSU's fall roster and had dropped considerable weight to get there, would have to sit out the 2007 season if he transferred to another Division I-A school, but he would have three years of eligibility remaining, having played in his only season at FSU.
In addition to considering USF out of high school, Hardrick has a few connections at USF -- he graduated with Bulls cornerback Tyller Roberts, and played his year at Hargrave alongside running back Mike Ford. Keeping in mind that we don't know yet if USF is interested in taking Hardrick, I'll put this out for comments: Would you want USF to give him a scholarship?
-- Also, in basketball news, freshman guard Dominique Jones has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Jones had already enrolled at USF for summer B classes, which end this week.