East Carolina WR Hardy breaks FBS career receptions record

East Carolina senior receiver Justin Hardy broke the FBS record for career receptions in the first half of Saturday's game against Tulane.

James Guillory/James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

After a late-season downswing, the East Carolina Pirates’ dreams of breaking into a major FBS bowl fell off a couple weeks ago. The school’s 2014 season will still go down in history, however, if only for wide receiver Justin Hardy’s career production.

The senior from Vanceboro, N.C., has been a model of consistency for the high-powered East Carolina offense over the past three-plus seasons, and it’s that consistency that has landed him in the NCAA record books. In the middle of his third straight 1,000-yard receiving season, Hardy entered a conference matchup with Tulane needing four receptions to set the all-time record for career receptions. It didn’t take him long.

By halftime, Hardy was the team’s leading receiver with six catches, giving him 352 career receptions to pass former Oklahoma star Ryan Broyles. East Carolina commemorated the occasion by letting everyone in the stadium know what their passing offense had produced:


Hardy averaged more than 88 catches per season entering his senior season, including a career high of 114 as a junior. How’s this for consistency and improvement (entering Saturday’s games):

2011: 64 catches, 658 yards, six TDs

2012: 88 catches, 1,105 yards, 11 TDs

2013: 114 catches, 1,284 yards, eight TDs

2014: 80 catches, 1,002 yards, seven TDs (and counting)

It’s not a bad byproduct for being a centerpiece of the second-ranked passing offense in 2014.