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‘Dae Dae’ Getting a Pay Day: Former Penn State CB Daequan Hardy Selected by Buffalo Bills

Penn State's Daequan Hardy during pregame warmups ahead of the Lions matchup against Maryland.

Former Penn State cornerback Daequan Hardy is going to the NFL.

The Buffalo Bills took him in the sixth round Saturday.

It didn’t always look like Hardy would be drafted.

Thought by many to be an undersized corner at 5-foot-9, Hardy was perhaps the Penn State player that had the most to gain at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Hardy helped himself greatly.

He put his speed on display at his NFL Combine workout Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy.

Hardy ran a sub-4.4, clocking in at 4.39.

At Penn State, Hardy played primarily as a nickel corner. Although he occasionally spent time on the outside, Penn State has players such as Joey Porter Jr. and Kalen King holding that down. But what Hardy will be remembered by Penn State fans most for is what he did as a punt returner, specifically on Oct. 15, 2023.

Evan though he had no punt returns in a PSU jersey,Hardy looked like a seasoned veteran, so much so that he ran two punts back for touchdowns against UMass.

Some of that, Daequan Hardy said afterward at was because returning punts was nothing new to him. When he played at Penn Hills High School in the Pittsburgh area, punt returning was part of Hardy’s job. But after never fielding a punt in his college career, he became the first Penn State player ever to return two punts for a touchdown in a single game.

“That was the same guy that me and (associate head coach and cornerbacks coach) Terry (Smith) went to watch in a state championship game and earned a Penn State scholarship by how he performed all different ways,” PSU coach James Franklin said in his postgame presser. “That was awesome for us to have success with that tonight.”

Hardy’s heroics led to him being named first-team All-Big Ten for special teams. We’ll see what role he ends up with in the NFL.

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