NFL CAREER: This former Illinois wide receiver transitioned to defensive back after joining the Saints practice squad prior to the 2017 season. Since being promoted to the active roster, Hardee's developed into a special teams ace for club appearing in 46 regular season games and over the last three seasons, posting 15 solo tackles, one 77-yard interception return, two passes defensed, a team-leading 24 special teams stops over that period, a blocked punt that he recovered for a touchdown and a ten-yard reception, while adding two coverage stops in five postseason contests. Heading into the 2020 season, Hardee looks to make continued strides with his coverage skills, while continuing to be a significant special teams contributor.
TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms with Saints on a one-year contract, 3/20/20; Signed by Saints to active roster, 9/23/17; Signed by Saints to practice squad, 9/7/17; Waived by Texans, 9/2/17; Signed by Texans, 5/12/17.
HONORS – 2017: NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week Eight).
2019- Played in all 16 regular season games and one postseason contest, tallying nine solo tackles and five special teams stops…Recorded season-high two special teams stops on Thanksgiving night at Atlanta, Nov. 28…Recorded one special teams tackle at Tennessee, Dec. 29…Had a club-best and career-high six solo tackles in at Carolina, Dec. 29. 2018- Played in all 16 regular season games and both postseason contests, tallying nine solo tackles, a 77-yard interception return, two passes defensed and a career-high and a team-leading ten special teams stops…In opener vs. Tampa Bay, Sept. 9, recorded two special teams stops…Vs. Cleveland, Sept. 16, recorded a special teams stop…At Atlanta, Sept. 23, recorded an assisted special teams stop…At N.Y. Giants, Sept. 30, caught a 10-yard pass from Taysom Hill on a fake punt attempt to convert a first down…Vs. Washington, Oct. 8, played on defense and special teams, recording career-highs in tackles (four), solo tackles (four), passes defensed (two), and making his first career interception, returned for 77 yards…At Minnesota, Oct. 28, recorded three coverage tackles (two solo) to tie a career-high…At Cincinnati, Nov. 11, played on defense and special teams, finishing with one solo tackle…Vs. Philadelphia, Nov. 18, recorded one defensive tackle and one special teams tackle…At Carolina, Dec. 17, played on special teams and recorded his tenth tackle, surpassing his rookie season total…Vs. Carolina, Dec. 30, played on defense and special teams, finishing with three solo tackles…In the NFC Divisional playoff game vs. Philadelphia, 1/13/19, played on special teams…In the NFC Championship game vs. L.A. Rams, 1/20/19, played on special teams and recorded one tackle. 2017- Appeared in 14 regular season games and both postseason contests. In regular season, led team with nine special teams tackles and also blocked a punt he recovered for a touchdown. Made one coverage stop in the NFC Wild Card Playoff victory at Carolina, 1/7/18…At Carolina, Sept. 24, made his NFL regular season playing debut on special teams…Vs. Detroit, Oct. 15, recorded a career-high three special teams tackles (two solo)…Vs. Chicago, Oct. 29, played on special teams and had a stop…Vs. Tampa Bay, Nov. 5, played on special teams and blocked a punt that he recovered for a touchdown, earning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors…At L.A. Rams, Nov. 26, played on special teams and recorded one tackle…Vs. New York Jets, Dec. 17, played on special teams and had a tackle…Vs. Atlanta, Dec. 24, played on special teams and had two solo coverage tackles…At Tampa Bay, Dec. 31, played on special teams and downed a punt at the Buccaneers five-yard line.
COLLEGE: Played wide receiver at Illinois from 2012-16…Started all 12 games as a redshirt senior in 2016 and finished second on team with 314 receiving yards and third with 25 receptions…Career-highs in receptions (9) and receiving yards (125) in season finale at Northwestern…Academic All-Big 10…Played in all 13 games in 2014, starting eight and tallied 19 catches for 240 yards…Caught six passes for 110 yards, including a go-ahead 62-yard touchdown pass with 12:27 left vs. Western Kentucky…In 2013, played in all 12 games with one start…Had 11 catches for 95 yards…In 2012, played in all 12 games, making one start, first of career vs. Louisiana Tech…Had 17 catches for 192 yards…Earned a bachelor's degree in communication and also has master's degrees in education and sport management.
PERSONAL: Attended Glenville (Cleveland, Ohio) HS, where he was a teammate of Saints CB Marshon Lattimore and a 2011 third-team Northeast Lakes All-District selection as a senior…Played in Next Level Northeast Ohio All-Star Game…Member of 2009 team that played in Division I state title game…Also ran track at Glenville, winning a 2011 OHSAA State Championship in the 4x400m relay…High school coach was Ted Ginn Sr…Attended a Touchdown Club of New Orleans dinner in 2017, speaking to members about his journey to the Saints and was the club's 2017 Co-Special Teams Player of the Year...In 2018, participated in Ted Ginn Jr's youth football camp at Beachwood (Ohio) High School as a counselor…Through his Hardee Cares Foundation, teamed up with Ginn and Lattimore to provide local children with a holiday shopping spree…In 2019, hosted a charity bowling tournament to support the foundation's initiatives…In March, hosted a pizza party for students who participate in his reading program…In June, opened a Papa John's Pizza franchise in the city's burgeoning medical district…Hardee's foundation supports Sarcoidosis awareness, honoring his mother who passed away from the disease,