Wide Receiver Justin Hardy (6’0”, 188 pounds) was selected by the Falcons in the 4th Round (107th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.
A three-time first-team all-conference selection who established ECU single-season records for most receptions (121) and reception yardage (1,494), as well as career receiving yards (4,541) and career touchdown receptions (35)…Owns the NCAA record for career receptions (387)… The Vanceboro, N.C. native is the lone Pirate receiver to post three-straight 1,000-yard seasons
Played in all 13 games, posting 1494 yards on 121 catches (12.3 yards per reception) with 10 touchdowns…Surpassed Dwayne Harris (268/2007-10) for Pirate career supremacy in receptions…Owns the NCAA FBS career record for receptions, passing Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles (349/2008-11)…Become the 11th Pirate in school history to earn AP All-America honors…A unanimous first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection by the leagues head coaches and winner of the 2014 Burlsworth Trophy given to the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on…Hardy ranked second nationally in receptions (121) and fourth in receiving yards (1,494) in 2014 – both program single-season records.
Started all 13 games and set single-season school records for receptions (114) and receiving yards (1,284) … Tallied 1,509 all-purpose yards (1,284 receiving, 225 punt return) to lead squad … A First-Team All-Conference USA choice as a receiver … Also was a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy … Ranked first in career receptions (266) and second in receptions per game (7.4) among all active players at close of season … From a single-season standpoint, stood fourth nationally in receptions per game (8.8 rpg), 15th in receiving yards, 17th in receiving yards per game (98.8 ypg) and 23rd in punt return average (11.2 ypr) … Brought back 20 punts for 225 yards with a career-long 66-yarder against Southern Miss … Also completed a pair of passes in three attempts for 55 yards (35/FIU, 20 for TD/NC State) … Scored a team-best eight receiving TDs, which included six against C-USA opponents … Recorded scores against Florida Atlantic, North Carolina, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, FIU, Tulsa, UAB and NC State … Authored four 100-yard receiving games (191/Old Dominion, 230/Tulane, 126/Southern Miss and 136/FIU) … Posted five double-digit receiving contests (16/ODU, 17/Tulane, 10/USM, 10/Tulsa, 10/Marshall) … His single-game school-record 17 receptions at Tulane marked the second-most by a FBS receiver in 2013, while his 230 yards ranked ninth … Effort vs. Green Wave bested his previous record set against ODU in the season opener (16-191) … Tallied 105 punt return yards against Southern Miss, the most by a Pirate punt returner since 2000 … Recorded 72 plays that went for 10 or more yards (62 receiving, 10/punt return) … Seventy-one of 114 receptions resulted in an ECU first down or touchdown … Recorded 150 or more all-purpose yards four times (226/ODU, 257/Tulane, 231/USM, 153/FIU) … Led C-USA in receptions and receiving yards, while ranking third in punt return average, fourth in all-purpose yards and tied for 10th in scoring TDs … Set school career TD catch mark (23rd) with a five-yarder in the third quarter against Tulsa before adding two more the remainder of the year … Established single-season receiving yards record at NC State with an 11-yard catch in the third quarter … Became the first player in Conference USA history to have 16-plus catches in a contest three times, while his 17-reception total at Tulane matched the third-highest total in league history … Earned one C-USA Offensive Player-of-the-Week citation (10-126, 1 TD vs. Southern Miss) … Also garnered team offensive MVP honors during the program’s annual post-season banquet.
A First-Team All-Conference USA selection as a receiver and second-team choice as punt returner … Became just the fourth receiver in school history to reach 1,000 reception yards (1,105) in a single-season, which ranks third all-time at ECU … Also stood among the school’s all-time single-season leaders in receiving TDs (2nd/11) and receptions (3rd/88) … Caught a then-single-game program-record 16 passes in the regular season finale against Marshall … Stood among the national FBS leaders in receptions per game (21st/6.77 rpg), total receiving yards (23rd/1,105) and reception yards per game (31st/85.0 ypg) … Hauled in a career-best two aerial TDs against Memphis … Caught at least one TD in 10 of 13 games … Netted a season-best 171 reception yards – fourth-most in ECU single-game in history – against the Herd … Recorded 100-yard receiving games against South Carolina (111), UCF (119), Memphis (137), UAB (132) and Marshall (171) … Posted double-digit receptions twice (11/UTEP, 16/MAR) … Caught at least four passes in all 13 games … Had 41 plays that went for 10 or more yards (36/receiving, 5/PR) … Recorded the longest TD reception of the season (76 vs. UCF) … Returned 20 punts for 175 yards (8.8 avg) … Registered the longest punt return of the season with a 43-yarder vs. ASU … Also had a 41-yard punt bring-back against Houston … Closed year with a five-catch, 59-yard and one-TD effort vs. UL-Lafayette in the R+L Carriers Bowl New Orleans Bowl … Five of 11 TD receptions covered 20or more yards … Led all receivers with 12 “big plays” (20-plus yards) … Stood second on the team in scoring (66 points) and first in all-purpose yards (1,280) … Rated among C-USA leaders in receptions per game (2nd), 100-yard receiving games (2nd), receiving yards per game (3rd), all-purpose yards (7th) and scoring TDs (8th) … Selected as the program’s team MVP at the Pirates’ annual awards banquet.
A breakout performer during first season on the Pirates’ active roster, earning Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors … Also named to the Bleacher Report’s Honorable Mention All-Freshman Team and Phil Steele Magazine’s All-Freshman Second Team … Selected as the program’s offensive MVP by coaching staff during the program’s end-of-the-season awards banquet … Experienced action in 10 games, making eight starts … Did not play against Navy and Tulane due to a right knee injury suffered in practice … Part of the initial offensive lineup against South Carolina, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Houston, Memphis, UTEP, UCF and Marshall … Ended the campaign owning East Carolina freshman records with 64 receptions and 658 yards, surpassing Jason Nichols’ 42 catches and 450 yards in 1994 … 64 catches are the sixth most recorded in a season in program history … Tied Larry Shannon (1994) for the Pirates’ rookie mark with six touchdown grabs … Finished the year ranked fourth in Conference USA in receptions per game (6.4) and eighth in receiving yards per game (65.8) … Also stood 25th nationally in catches per contest and was one of just three freshmen to finish the campaign ranked in the top 75 … ECU’s top receiver in Conference USA games, making 40 grabs for 463 yards … Finished second on the squad in non-league contests, hauling in 24 passes for 195 yards … Trailed only kicker Michael Barbour in scoring during league tilts, totaling 30 points on an ECU-high five touchdowns … Averaged a team second-best 11.6 yards per catch during C-USA action … Ended the year ranked third on the squad with nine plays of 20 or more yards, including a team-best three touchdowns for 20 or more yards … Paced the squad with nine receptions covering 20 or more yards … Registered 33 catches during five games inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and 20 during four road tilts … For the season, led all receivers with 99 passes intended and was Dominique Davis’ favorite target with 97 passes intended (19.6 percent of all Davis’ throws) … Paced the squad with 37 receiving first downs … Did the most damage on second down, hauling in 27 passes for 16 first downs and four scores … Targeted 10 times on second-and-short and second-and-middle distances and made all 10 receptions, gaining nine first downs … On fourth down, caught all four passes intended, turning three receptions into first downs and the other into a touchdown … Never reached 100 yards receiving in a game, but collected 90 or more three times, twice during the first three weeks of the season with 91 and 90-yard efforts against South Carolina and UAB, respectively … During the season finale at Marshall, set career high with 92 yards receiving … Made three receptions for 40 yards in the fourth quarter, including two grabs that netted 28 yards during the Pirates’ 15-play, 82-yard touchdown march to tie the game with 14 second remaining … Hauled in a seven-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against UCF, giving him scores in four of last five games played … Hauled in a team-leading seven balls for 64 yards, including a three-yard touchdown in the third quarter, versus Southern Miss … Completed a 51-yard pass to Andrew Bodenheimer on a halfback pass in the first quarter at Memphis … In the third frame versus the Tigers, caught third career touchdown pass on a personal-long 58-yard reception … Made five receptions in both halves against North Carolina, but held a 43-30 edge in yards during the opening half … Scored first career touchdown, and ECU’s initial TD of the season, during the opening quarter versus South Carolina with a 25-yard grab … Finished the first frame against the Gamecocks with three receptions for 46 yards and the score … Caught a career-high 11 passes in debut against South Carolina. 2010: Served as a valuable member of the scout teams and redshirted during initial season … Used as a scout quarterback on occasion to emulate scrambling, run-oriented or option-based signal callers.
A two-year letterman and senior team captain for coach Kevin Yost at West Craven High School … Compiled 2,500 passing yards and 35 touchdowns in 2009 to earn all-area, all-conference and offensive player-of-the-year honors … Added 1,500 rushing yards and 10 scores for the Eagles … Made 80 receptions for 1,001 yards and nine TDs during junior season … Named to the all-area and all-conference squads in 2008 … Picked two additional letters as a shooting and point guard on the basketball floor and another in track as a high jumper.
Full name is Justin Hardy … Born December 18, 1991 at Washington, N.C. … Son of the late Sam and Tara Hardy … Brother Bryan, a quarterback, played collegiate football at South Carolina State before transferring to Fayetteville State … Earned a bachelor’s degree in sport studies during ECU’s Spring Commencement Exercises in May, 2014 and is currently pursuing a second undergraduate degree in industrial technology … Earned inclusion on ECU’s Honor Roll (3.0 grade point average or higher) for academic work during back-to-back semesters (spring and fall of 2011) … Lists the Pirate fan base as the best thing about playing football at East Carolina … Says Jerry Rice is his favorite all-time NFL player … Hobbies include basketball and music.