FCS Grad Jack Hardin Plays Pivotal Role on Furman Special Teams
Jack Hardin has earned an important role on the Furman University football team.
The redshirt junior enters the 2020 season as the Paladins' holder for extra-points and field goals for the second straight season.
"It was nice," Hardin said about the 2019 season. "I was able to get into every game as a holder. It was also nice to get a few reps in some other games. I was able to show the coaches what I can do."
The 2017 Fellowship Christian School played a key role for the Paladins kicking game and helped kicker Grayson Atkins earn All-American status. Atkins went 13-for-15 in field-goal attempts, including a SoCon record 18-consecutive made field goals.
Hardin, who enters the season at No. 3 on the QB depth chart for the Paladins of Greenville, S.C., completed his first career pass attempt for 20 yards versus Virginia Military Institute in a 60-21 win. He also scored on a 30-yard option keeper in a 64-7 victory over Point in the regular-season finale.
"I am ready for my role [at quarterback] when my number is called," Hardin said, noting that Furman was able to get in spring practice before the coronavirus pandemic closed the campus. "We were able to get spring ball in, all but two practices. That will help us be prepared for the season."
Following a four-year high school football career for Fellowship, Hardin joined the Furman program in the fall of 2017 after quarterbacking the FCS Paladins to the state title game in December 2016.
Furman has finished 8-5 in both 2018 and 2019 seasons. Last fall, the Paladins posted a 6-2 mark in the SoCon. The team wound up second in the conference, but lost in the first round of the playoffs this fall.
"It was good," Hardin said about the 2019 campaign. "There were some games we could have won, but we still made the playoffs. Ultimately our goal is always to win the SoCon. That's our goal again [this fall]."
Hardin has had plenty of success in the classroom at Furman.
Hardin, who has been named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll the past three years, completes a summer internship at KIRO Financial on July 3. He's a business major who's a rising senior academically at Furman.
"I loved it," Hardin said about Furman. "I've loved the school, and being part of the football team."
He'll have another year of eligibility in football if he chooses to play through the 2021 season.
This summer, Hardin spent plenty of workout time with fellow FCS graduate and Furman teammate Reed Kroeber, who's a starting guard entering his senior year.
"It's a great luxury [to have a teammate in Roswell]," Hardin said. "He helped keep me on track. We encouraged each other."
Furman players are expected to report back to school Aug. 1. "It's been crazy," Hardin said of the COVD-19 shortened offseason.
(Photos courtesy of Furman University)