mopaji Posted April 30, 2010 Report Share Posted April 30, 2010 I took this from Cleveland Browns.com and it made me feel really good about this kid. He seems like a Thomas Jones with a Jamal Lewis running style. Nice pick up Manheckert! Hardesty adds talent, leadership Matt Florjancic, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com Posted 4 hours ago aaThe Browns not only drafted a running back in Montario Hardesty last weekend. They drafted a leader, too. Whether it was back at New Bern High School in North Carolina or at the University of Tennessee, new Browns running back Montario Hardesty set the tone for the offense and his entire team. With his constant dedication to the team and his desire to improve, Hardesty went from a small-town star to the No. 59 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, something not surprising for those who knew him back home. “You’re getting a hard-nosed football player that’s going to be one of the first ones to show up for practice, or workouts, or drills and one of the last ones to leave,” said New Bern head coach Bobby Curlings, an assistant during Hardesty’s time at the school. “He does everything that’s expected, plus more. “He’s what everybody wants; he’s going to lead by example,” Curlings added. “He has a tremendous work ethic, but also, he’s a motivator. He can get his teammates to rally and do the things they need to do. If a teammate is not quite up to par, he doesn’t mind stepping up and being a leader to get that teammate headed back in the right direction. As good as he is as a football player, he’s an even better person.” Hardesty ran for 2,002 yards as a senior at New Bern High School, after a 1,987-yard junior season. He was the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the 2004 Shrine Game of the Carolinas after gaining 55 yards and scoring 1 touchdown on 12 carries and returning 5 kicks for 136 combined yards. Three years prior to appearing in the Shrine Bowl, Hardesty got the chance to play against a 2009 Browns second-round pick from Independence High School in Charlotte. Hardesty and New Bern lost to twice to Independence High School in the North Carolina 4AA state championship game. “As a sophomore, he played varsity and helped lead us to the state championship for the first time in school history and again as a junior,” said Curlings. “As a sophomore, he started at corner and did a good job. He was given the duty of guarding Mohamed Massaquoi. He held his own and the next year, we switched him to running back and it took off from there.” While Hardesty’s talent was what got him on the football field, it was his knowledge of the game and willingness to learn from mistakes that put him a leadership role. “He just had an excellent football IQ,” said Curlings. “In our scheme, we usually let the center make all the adjustments as far as the offensive line goes and he grasped everything so quickly that we let him make a lot of the checks and a lot of the calls because he knew what everybody was supposed to do on every play from receiver all the way through to every position on the line and the quarterbacks as well. He just loved the game and learned as much of it as he could and his natural ability speaks for itself. “He eats, sleeps and breathes it; he loves it,” Curlings continued. “If he’s not working out or practicing football, he’ll spend hours and hours watching game film and critiquing what he’s doing and scouting the opponent as well. He’s a student of the game.” Though he has yet to take his first handoff in the NFL, by playing well for the University of Tennessee and getting drafted by the Browns, Hardesty is now a role model for his hometown of New Bern. “It goes a long way,” Curlings said of Hardesty’s success. “In our community and some other places, people sometimes dwell on the negatives and like to tell people what they can’t do, but when they see people like Montario coming from the same neighborhood, going to the same schools, playing for the same teams all the way through and see him have the success that he’s had, it lets them know it is possible if you put in the time and dedicate yourself to the sport. It does a tremendous amount for our kids as well as all the younger kids that look up to him.” Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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