Yoshi Hardrick signs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hardrick signs with the Bucs after rookie camp

By Myra Bean

After a weekend of rookie camp, Jermarcus “Yoshi” Hardrick of Batesville was one of 11 rookies  the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed.

A press release by the organization said the 11 “impressed on tryout contact,” the coaching staff.
Sunday, Hardrick let his fans know of the decision by text and Facebook.

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Monday, Hardrick and his friend Samantha Morabe of California stopped by The Panolian office while they were in town.

Hardrick told of the long process he just completed of getting ready for the draft and not being drafted.
He got hurt during a pro day and was red flagged by many teams. Hardrick only learned of the red flags at the rookie camp.

“They didn’t know if I was going to be ready,” Hardrick said. “I didn’t know that. If I had known, I would have had another pro day. My coach at Nebraska said I didn’t need another Pro Day because they saw me run so I thought I was good.”

Morabe, a cross-country runner at Nebraska, said going through draft day was a “crazy process.”

When the draft subject came up, both rolled their heads and shoulders and sighed.

“The day I thought I was going to get drafted, waiting all day, getting a phone call or text, your heart goes crazy and it is not that person, team,” Hardrick said. “It’s a process seeing people going before you that you played with that you thought you were better than, it’s a lot to go through. It’s a business though.”

At the rookie camp, 80 people were brought in for 11 spots.

“You can sign one day and get cut the same day or day after,” he said.

Hardrick saw players call up their parents and say they signed a three-year contract.

“Then the next day they have a big bag in their locker and told to leave,” he said. “When I signed my deal I was like I don’t even want to think about getting a house. You can sign and go home the next day.”

However, Hardrick got to the NFL, he said his whole family is happy and this is a blessing.

“I am showing my family I can do it the right way,” he said. “I am showing the kids the right way to do it. You can go to college. The world is way bigger than Batesville.”

Hardrick attended Ft. Scott Community College in Kansas and the University of Nebraska.

At the camp, Hardrick said the coaches saw the athleticism in him and that he was willing to work hard to play in the NFL.

He returns next week for six weeks of OTA training and then after that for training camp that he thinks will be in Arkansas.

“I will have a pro bowler that I am working behind and I could learn from him,” Hardrick said. “If I do that I could sign a big contract in three years. I got my shot so I am taking advantage.”