VolQuest - Jay Hardy talks latest trip to Tennessee, connection with Vol commits
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Jay Hardy talks latest trip to Tennessee, connection with Vol commits

For the second time this summer, Jay Hardy found himself back at Tennessee surrounded by a bunch of his buddies.

The 4-star in-state defensive lineman from McCallie School in Chattanooga attended the Vols’ paint ball event in mid-May and returned to Rocky Top on Saturday for the pool party. Hardy spent the entire day surrounded by Tennessee commits and fellow top targets, including a cadre of close in-state friends.

“It was a good time today,” Hardy told Volquest.

“Definitely loved hanging with all the recruits. Keshawn (Lawerence), Tyler (Baron), Cooper (Mays), Tee (Hodge). These guys are on me a lot. Keshawn calls me everyday and says, ‘Come on big dog. You already know the move. Cooper and Tee are the same way.”

Hardy holds more than 30 offers, but it’s no secret that Jeremy Pruitt and the Vols are leaning hard on the 6-foot-4, 295-pound lineman. The Chattanooga native has developed a strong rapport with Pruitt, area recruiter Kevin Sherrer and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker. They’re all pitching him on becoming another in-state difference maker in the 2020 class.

“I love what they’re doing. They know what they’re doing,” he said. “They have a track record. Coach Pruitt has a mindset on what he wants to do.”

Hardy released a “Top 16” last month, but Tennessee, UF and LSU are among the schools recruiting him the hardest. He took summer trips to Ohio State and Auburn and plans to take an official visit to Georgia in the fall.

Still, the allure of playing with his friends is regularly on Hardy’s mind, especially since Lawrence and Hodge joined the class last month.

“Me and Keshawn have been talking about playing together since we were younger. We were on the same basketball team years ago and talked about it then,” he said.

“Cooper has been on me the past couple of weeks saying, ‘Imagine if we get all these in-state guys to play together.’ We know what everybody in-state can do and we could bring back Tennessee the way it used to be. Me and Tyler are two more people that could do that.”