HARDY 41ST PICK IN THE NFL DRAFT

Waynedale News file photo James Hardy, of Elmhurst High School commits to Indiana University in both football and basketball on Wednesday, February 4, 2004 in the Elmhurst High School Community Room.  Hardy’s father, James Hardy II, witnesses the event.
Waynedale News file photo James Hardy, of Elmhurst High School commits to Indiana University in both football and basketball on Wednesday, February 4, 2004 in the Elmhurst High School Community Room. Hardy’s father, James Hardy II, witnesses the event.
Elmhurst’s James Hardy was picked No. 41 in the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills football team. Hardy who played both football and basketball at Elmhurst has finally achieved one of his childhood dreams, the dream of becoming a professional athlete.

The NFL draft, which happened Saturday, April 25th is an emotional rollercoaster for those waiting to be drafted. It can mean millions of dollars in professional contracts and there is no way of knowing when or if they will call your number. Hardy was expected to go in the first round, but when the first round was completed, Hardy, along with all the other receivers were still without teams. It then became a waiting game for those athletes that had proven to be the best of the best during their college years.

While Hardy was at Elmhurst, he was a standout on the football field as well as on the basketball court. He participated in the historic football game between Dwenger and Elmhurst in which Dwenger was ranked first in the state and Elmhurst had not won a game in 64 tries. EHS won the game which put them and James Hardy in the national spotlight.

On the basketball court Hardy surpassed a Fort Wayne high school scoring record (1653 points) that had stood for 40 years.

After his high school heroics Hardy went to Bloomington, Indiana to compete in both basketball and football. As it turned out he found himself in a position where he needed to concentrate on a single sport, and football appeared to be the sport which would take him into the pros.

In his three-year stint at Indiana he proved to be a powerful force scoring 36 career touchdowns in three years to the admiration of his many fans.

It was a stress-filled Saturday for Hardy as he watched pick after pick. The emotion spilled out into the room as it was announced that he was chosen by the Bills to continue a legacy in which he becomes part of a team that needs help. Buffalo had one of the worst offenses in the NFL last year.

Hardy is the type of player that causes his teammates to elevate their game. As he did at the struggling EHS sports program and the rebuilding of the IU program, Hardy should be right at home as part of a rebuilding program in Buffalo. Hardy may be the glue that binds together an already talent rich team. Good things come to those who wait.

The Waynedale News Staff
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