Penn State Football

Pittsburgh native Daequan Hardy joins Penn State’s 2019 class prior to National Signing Day

Penn State defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith cheers during the early signing period.
Penn State defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith cheers during the early signing period.

Daequan Hardy, a three-star cornerback from Penn Hills, announced that he received a scholarship offer from Penn State at noon Tuesday. Nine hours later, he became a Nittany Lion.

Talk about a quick turnaround.

Hardy joined Penn State’s top-tier 2019 recruiting class a day before Wednesday’s National Signing Day, becoming the Nittany Lions’ sixth defensive back this cycle and 22nd overall commit.

But it’s not as if Franklin, Terry Smith and company just started recruiting the 5-foot-10 playmaker this week. Hardy unofficially visited Penn State on April 14 and came back on an official visit on Jan. 25.

Although he wasn’t heavily recruited in the Power 5 — in large part because he weighs in at 160 pounds — the nation’s No. 32 cornerback, according to 247 Sports, certainly boasts an impressive resume. Rivals even listed him as an athlete because he starred at wide receiver for Penn Hills, too.

He not only managed to become Pennsylvania’s Class 5A Player of the Year, but he scored 25 touchdowns five different ways in 2018. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hardy had 10 scoring plays of 50 yards or more, caught 37 passes, rushed for 373 yards and nabbed 10 interceptions. In Penn Hills’ state title win, he also tallied four touchdowns.

According to his 247 Sports page, Hardy received offers from 10 programs: Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Buffalo, Toledo, Army, Navy, Bowling Green and Kent State. However, the Post-Gazette reported that the Wolverines and Spartans — who offered this time last year — have not been recruiting Hardy “for a while.”

Hardy visited Buffalo on Jan. 11 and Toledo a week later.

“It’s just because of the measurables,” Hardy told the Post-Gazette in December. “I believe I’m a Power 5 conference player.”

And he’ll get that chance to prove himself at Penn State.