At least one former Georgia Bulldog football player will play in this year’s Super Bowl LIV. Mecole Hardman, Jr. will be representing the “G” for the Kansas City Chiefs as they take on the San Franciso 49’ers on Sunday, February 2nd in Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, 35-24, in the AFC Championship Game. For the game, Hardman was only targeted twice, catching an 8-yard pass and drawing a 15-yard defensive pass interference penalty which gave K.C. a first down on a third-and-10. He also had four kickoff returns for 86 yards and one punt return for seven yards.
After the game, Hardman celebrated with his teammates stating “We not done yet!,” and shared a moment with parents
Mecole Hardman was part of the Bulldogs’ 2016 recruiting class, Kirby Smart‘s first after being hired as UGA’s new Head Coach, signing out of Elbert County High School in Bowman, GA. Hardman started out as a cornerback on defense as a freshman before switching over to receiver on offense the spring of his sophomore year. During his career at Georgia, Hardman would play in 40 games, hauling in 59 receptions for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns as well as 13 rushing attempts for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns as a wide receiver. On special teams, Hardman had 35 kick returns for 875 yards, averaging 25 yards per return, and on 39 punt returns, he 592 yards and a touchdown, averaging 15.2 yards per return.
After the 2018 season, Hardman decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft where he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round at pick No. 56 overall.
And it has been a rookie season for Hardman to remember with or without an AFC Championship and trip to the Super Bowl. Hardman has played in all 16 regular-season games for the Chiefs as well as both post-season playoff games versus Houston and Tennessee. On the year, Hardman has 29 receptions for 565 yards and 6 touchdowns with an additional 4 rushes for 17 yards. As a returner, Hardman has 37 kick returns for 932 yards and a touchdown, averaging just over 25-yards per return. He also has 20 punt returns for 175 yards, averaging 8.75 yards per return. His performance on the field earned Mecole a 2019 Pro Bowl selection and he was named to the 2019 PFWA All-Rookie Team.