It didn’t take long for former Georgia star and Kansas City Chiefs rookie Mecole Hardman to make his presence known at the Super Bowl.
Hardman, who has become known for his pregame apparel, showed up for the game against San Francisco in a “Top Gun” flight suit.
The message was clear: Hardman is ready to live up to his NFL nickname “Jet.”
— flynavy (@flynavy) February 2, 2020
That, and it’s safe to say the Chiefs are planning an air assault of sorts against the 49ers.
The Super Bowl starts at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., at 6:30 p.m. (TV: Fox)
Hardman has made an impact for Kansas City in its Super Bowl run this season. He has scored six receiving touchdowns and averaged 20.7 yards per catch.
Hardman had 26 catches for 538 yards this season, with 69 percent of his receptions going for first downs, including an 83-yard TD grab. three of those catches have come in the NFL Playoffs.
The former Georgia standout also had 27 kick returns for 704 yards this season, an average of 26.1 yards per return, with a 104-yard return for a touchdown.
Hardman completed his triple threat on punt returns, with 18 returns for 167 yards.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart predicted Hardman’s success at UGA Pro Day last year.
“He has been elite from a special teams standpoint, and I still think he has great upside at the wide receiver position, so he’s a guy that’s going to flourish when he gets to that level,” Smart said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him do it, because he’s grown as a player for us, but he hasn’t even reached his full potential.”
The Chiefs certainly got their money’s worth with Hardman, who they acquired with the 56th overall pick in the second round of last year’s NFL draft.
Indeed, Hardman transitioned to the NFL almost seamlessly.
In Jim Chaney’s offense at Georgia in 2018, Hardman had 34 catches for 532 yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 20.1 yards on 16 punt returns in 2018 and 26.2 yards on kick returns.
Hardman ran a 4.33-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine last year, erasing any doubts and catching Kansas City’s attention.
Hardman tried to tell the other teams in Indianapolis he could help them, too.
“I’m the do-it-all guy,” Hardman said. “I can go outside, I can go inside, my special teams value is high, so I bring a lot of value.”
Tonight, Hardman takes to the biggest stage in the game of football. His pregame wardrobe suggests he’s ready to fly high.
Mecole Hardman highlights
— NFL (@NFL) February 1, 2020
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) February 2, 2020