June 25, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina junior Justin Hardy, who earned All-Conference USA honors as a receiver (first-team) and punt returner (second-team) in 2012, has been named to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) All-Purpose Performer-of-the-Year Watch List according to a release by the organization Tuesday.
A key component in the Pirates' potent passing attack in 2012, Hardy stood among the national FBS leaders in receptions per game (21st/6.77 rpg), total receiving yards (23rd/1,105) and reception yards per game (31st/85.0 ypg). He became just the fourth receiver in school history to reach 1,000 reception yards (1,105) in a single season, which ranks third all-time at ECU.
Hardy, who caught a program-record 16 passes in the regular season finale against Marshall, rated among the school's all-time single-season leaders in receiving touchdowns (2nd/11) and receptions (3rd/88). He also ranked among the C-USA leaders in receptions per game (2nd), 100-yard receiving games (2nd), receiving yards per game (3rd), all-purpose yards (7th), all-purpose yards (7th/1,280) and scoring TDs (8th).
The Vanceboro, N.C. native also worked as the team's top punt returner averaging a league third-best 8.8 yards per runback. He returned 20 punts for 175 yards, which included a season-long 43-yarder against Appalachian State in the season opener and a 41 yard return against Houston.
"Congratulations to Justin Hardy on earning a spot on the CFPA All-Purpose Performer-of-the-Year Watch List," said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. "Hardy returns to East Carolina after a stellar season on offense and special teams in 2012."
All CFPA recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration. More than 130 CFPA recipients have signed professional contracts, and 21 have been first-round NFL Draft selections.