Hardy attended Elmhurst High School, where he played football and basketball. As a senior, he posted 34 catches for 710 yards and 10 touchdowns and was a Class 4A all-state selection by the Indiana Football Coaches Association.
As a basketball player, he was runner-up in the Mr. Basketball voting and an Indiana All-Star. He ranks high on the list for the city scoring record for Fort Wayne, with over 2,000 points during his four years at Elmhurst. Hardy led Elmhurst to a state championship appearance his senior. However, Elmhurst was defeated by Bishop Chatard High School from Indianapolis. Hardy was also a two-time winner of the Tiffany Gooden award. Indiana’s basketballs coveted outstanding player of the year award given to the areas best high school hoopster from the Summit Athletic Conference.
As a collegian, Hardy had a stellar freshman season with another good one as he hauled in 51 passes for 722 yards and 10 touchdowns and was named Second Team All-Big Ten for a second straight year. As a junior, Hardy caught 74 catches for 1,075 yards—ranking third in the Big Ten in both categories—and became the Hoosiers’ all-time receiving leader in touchdowns (36), yards (2,690) and receptions (186). He was selected first team All-Big Ten selection, a Fred Biletnikoff Award semifinalist and the team’s most valuable player.
During his time at Indiana, Hardy also played on the basketball team for two years. In January 2008, Hardy declared himself eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft, saying, “I have reached the pinnacle of my college football career.”
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Hardy was a top 10 performer in the bench press, broad jump, 3-cone drill, and
20-yard shuttle. In the bench press Hardy finished 9th among WRs with 18 reps at 225 pounds.
Hardy was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round (41st overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. He signed a multi-year contract with the team on July 24. On September 14, 2008, in his second game, Hardy caught his first touchdown late in a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
On January 17, 2011 Hardy was signed to a reserve/future contract by the Baltimore Ravens. However, he practiced very little with the Ravens during the 2011 training camp due to chronic hamstring problems, the same injury that nagged him while with the Bills.
Hardy is 26 years of age and stands 6’6, while weighing 217lbs. He was a first team Freshman All-American, three time all Big Ten performer and recipient of the NFL – ED Block Courage Award in 2009.