Senior offensive tackle Yoshi Hardrick admittedly wasted too much energy last fall worrying about why he wasn’t getting more time on the field.
He wanted to be a starter. The fact that he had a reserve role never sat well with Hardrick.
“I was kind of mad that I wasn’t starting,” Hardrick said. “It kept me from practicing well.”
Eventually, though not until the end of the season, Hardrick realized he needed a mentality transformation. So he has a renewed approach this spring.
“Last year, I was kind of just a mad player because I wasn’t out there so I didn’t give it all I had,” Hardrick said. “This year … I want to be able to look myself in the mirror every night (knowing) that I gave it all I had.”
He hopes the results will be positive. He’s getting even more practice reps at left tackle this spring now that sophomore Jeremiah Sirles, the expected starter at left tackle, is out until the summer because of offseason shoulder surgery.
Hardrick’s objectives are more short-term at this point, though. He’s not thinking about what the depth chart will look like in September.
He wants to control his weight (he’s currently meeting his target of 330 pounds, 10 fewer than last season). He wants to learn a new offense (the coaches are emphasizing tenacity in a simpler system). He wants to be a leader (Hardrick has just one more year of eligibility after transferring from Fort Scott Community College).
Check out Wednesday’s edition of The World-Herald for more on Hardrick.