East Carolina sophomore inside receiver Justin Hardy has been added to the 2012 Biletnikoff Award Watch List, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced Tuesday. The award is presented annually to college football's outstanding receiver.
Hardy joins Duke's Jamison Crowder, Texas A&M's Mike Evans, UTEP's Jordan Leslie and Toledo's Bernard Reedy as additions to a list of 67 candidates who were preseason selections.
In seven games this fall, Hardy currently tops the Pirates with 45 receptions for 617 yards and seven touchdowns. He's authored three 100-yard receiving contests in 2012, picking up 111 at South Carolina, 119 at UCF and a career-high 137 against Memphis. He ranks 17th nationally in total reception yards, stands 28th in receiving yards per game (88.1) this season, and from a career standpoint, Hardy's 109 catches in 18 contests (6.06 rpg) rates seventh among all active players on the FBS level.
Hardy has caught a scoring pass in six of seven games so far, which includes 76 and 67-yarders in back-to-back contests against UCF and Memphis, respectively. He already ranks fifth on East Carolina's career touchdown reception list with 13, only nine shy of Lance Lewis' program record of 22.
Initially earning a roster position with the Pirates as a walk-on in 2010, Hardy led all ECU receivers in catches (64) and reception yardage (658) as a redshirt rookie in 2011 and was selected to Conference USA's All-Freshman Team.
The award is named for Fred Biletnikoff, the Florida State University All-America receiver and Pro Football Hall of Famer. It has been given out since 1994 with Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon earning the honor in each of the last two seasons. This year, the 19th Biletnikoff Award recipient will be announced as part of The Home Depot College Football Awards Show aired on ESPN Thursday, December 6.