Bret Bielema announces Illinois legend to return as 'guest captain' for Maryland game
Former Illinois linebacker Kevin Hardy will be with the Illini as they host Maryland this weekend.
Hardy will serve as a “guest captain” for the game vs. the Terps. Coach Bret Bielema announced that news on Wednesday afternoon:
#illini Bret Bielema: Kevin Hardy will be guest captain this week. Inducted into Illini HOF this weekend.
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) September 15, 2021
Hardy is being inducted into the Illinois Hall of Fame this weekend. One of the best players in school history, Hardy won the Butkus Award in 1995 and was two-time All-Big Ten. He was also a consensus first-team All-American in 1995.
He went on to have a successful NFL career, playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals across nine seasons. Hardy was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft.
His best NFL season came in 1999 when he was named first team All-Pro and made the NFL’s Pro Bowl. Hardy retired in 2004 with 36 career sacks.
Illinois hosts Maryland this week as the Illini look to get back on track. They’ve lost two straight to UTSA and Virginia after managing a Week 0 win over Nebraska to start the season.
Kick off is at 9:00 p.m. ET on Friday night.