After securing the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the country for 2023, per the 247Sports Composite, Brent Venables and the Sooners have their sights set on the 2024 class. They’ve already landed five commits in the last month. The latest? Maybe the best as Jaydan Hardy announced via Twitter that he’s coming to Norman, Oklahoma.
Jaydan Hardy Commits to Oklahoma
BREAKING: Four-Star Safety Jaydan Hardy tells me he has Committed to Oklahoma!
The 6’0 175 S from Lewisville, TX chose the Sooners over Texas A&M, Tennessee, & others.
“24K all day every day. Golden is a lifestyle.”https://t.co/Q92u1oIp0Q pic.twitter.com/LW355h0X5f
— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) April 22, 2023
With Hardy’s commitment, Oklahoma now boasts the 27th-ranked class in the country, per the 247Sports Composite. The talented safety is joined by Kelly Daniels (wide receiver), Isaiah Autry (offensive tackle), Michael Hawkins (quarterback), and Jeremiah Newcombe (cornerback).
Hardy is a four-star commit in the 247Sports Composite. He’s ranked as the 14th-best player at his position. As well as the 29th-ranked player in the state of Texas, and the 162nd-ranked player in the nation for 2024. On April, 20 Hardy announced his top five as Oklahoma, Oregon, SMU, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. Just two days later he announced that come 2024, he’ll be donning the crimson red.
The Lewisville, Texas native also becomes the top-ranked commit for Oklahoma’s 2024 class as we start to see Venables’ defensive vision take shape. As a junior, Hardy was credited with 42 tackles, seven pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and one interception.
The talented safety is also the son of former NFL linebacker, Darryl Hardy. The eldest Hardy was a second-team All-SEC selection in 1992 for Tennessee and even won Super Bowl XXX with the Dallas Cowboys.
Jaydan Hardy Player Information
High School: Lewisville High School
City, State: Lewisville, Texas
Jaydan Hardy’s Three Best Traits
Speed – The four-star safety is a multi-sport athlete also specializing in track and field. Watching the film, it’s clear to see. On offense, if Hardy can get to the edge, he can blaze down the sidelines for six. As a safety, he has the speed necessary to cover all areas of the field. While he will see a step up in competition at the next level, his natural speed will be able to translate. He can be a safety with incredible range and the ability to run stride for stride with most wide receivers in the Big-12 and the SEC.
Experience – Hardy already has three years of meaningful varsity snaps under his belt. As a freshman, he was named the Texas District 6-6A Defensive Newcomer of the Year. While he was limited to only five games as a sophomore, he bounced back last year as he was named the Texas District 6-6A Co-MVP. He even spent the Spring at IMG Academy around other top players in the nation. By the time he steps foot onto Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, he will be a seasoned vet at the position. Having snaps at the wide receiver position as well, Hardy surely is a walking book of knowledge on how to cover the position.
Versatility – Hardy did a little bit of everything as a junior for Lewisville. He played as the deep safety, nickel corner, box safety, and even lined up as a wide receiver and quarterback for some plays. Per The Dallas Morning News, he hauled in nine receptions for 147 yards and three touchdowns last season. While he’s expected to play safety at the next level he’s a player who can step in and fill a need at every level.
Jaydan Hardy’s Areas for Improvement
Forcing Turnovers – Watching his film, there’s a reason Hardy translates to safety and not a wide receiver. He’s athletic enough to contest nearly every ball thrown his way, yet often doesn’t come down with interceptions. Ultimately, forcing an incompletion is getting the job done. However, one thing he can work on at the next level is turning these pass breakups into turnovers.
Man Coverage – While Hardy is a safety, with the way offenses in college play four and five wide, he will need to step up and play man coverage at times. He has the athleticism and speed to be a good man coverage specialist. However, he lacks the footwork and technique to be able to keep up with next-level route runners, especially in the slot. Hardy has all the physical tools to be elite at this. The coaching staff should be able to mold him into a great-man coverage defender.
Per pretty much every recruiting ranking, Hardy is the top commit thus far for Oklahoma’s 2024 class. Watching the film it’s clear to see why. He’s a speedy, athletic, and versatile safety who will translate into a very good starter at the next level. With how much faster wide receivers are becoming, it’s a necessity to have speed in your back end. Hardy will soon make Oklahoma fans very happy as he has the potential to become an elite safety in Venables’ defense for years to come.
A lot is looking up for Oklahoma. A successful Spring game, Kyler Murray’s statue unveiling, and now fresh commits coming in every day for the class of 2024. Hardy marks the third Sooner commit in the last week as Oklahoma looks to improve on a forgetful 2023 season. Oklahoma fans everywhere expected coach Venables to revitalize the Sooners’ defense. The successful Clemson defensive coordinator is finally getting a chance to bring in athletes that fit his scheme and Hardy fits that mold to a tee. Expect Venables to keep filling out the 2024 class with freaky athletes such as the talented junior. It’s all looking up for Oklahoma.