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Justin Hardee, the cornerback for the New York Jets, spent his childhood years on the east side of Cleveland.

After signing with the Saints as a member of their practice squad prior to the 2017 season, this former Illinois wide receiver made the switch to the defensive back position. Hardee has developed into a special teams ace for the club since being promoted to the active roster.

Justin Hardee
Justin Hardee

He has appeared in 46 regular season games and over the last three seasons, posting 15 solo tackles, one 77-yard interception return, two passes defended, a team-leading 24 special teams stops over that period, a blocked punt that he recovered for a touchdown, and a ten-yard reception, while also adding two coverage stops in five postseason contests.

In addition, Hardee’s goals for the upcoming campaign include maintaining his status as a strong player on special teams while also making further advancements in his coverage abilities.

Where did Justin Hardee attend college?

Justin Hardee attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and played college football. Justin Hardee played wide receiver for Illinois from 2012 and 2016. As a redshirt senior in 2016, he started every game and was second on the team in receiving yards with 314 and receptions with 25.

In the season-ending game against Northwestern, he set career highs in receptions (9) and receiving yards (125). Justin Hardee was selected for Academic All-Big 10 honors. In 2014, he participated in all 13 games, started eight of them, and recorded 19 receptions for 240 yards.