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James Hardy III (1985-2017)

The former Bills receiver was pronounced dead on Thursday.

On June 9th, a body found in the Maumee River in Fort Wayne, Indiana was identified as former Buffalo Bills wide receiver James Hardy III.

There was an immediate outpouring of support from NFL fans and those who cover the league regarding Hardy’s passing.

Hardy was a spectacular athlete in high school in Fort Wayne, as he made the All-State team as a wide receiver and was runner-up in the state’s Mr. Basketball competition. During his three-year career at Indiana University, the 6’6” Hardy accumulated 191 catches, 2,740 yards and 36 touchdowns, including 16 in his final season in Bloomington.

The pinnacle of Hardy’s NFL career came when he made a game-winning touchdown for the Bills against the Jaguars in Jacksonville in the back right corner of the end zone to push Buffalo’s record to 2-0 at the start of the 2008 season.

He made 10 grabs for 96 yards with two touchdowns as a member of the Bills.

The same hamstring issues that he labored through in Buffalo continued when he was signed by the Ravens, and he was released before the start of the 2011 season.

After his NFL career, Hardy started a modeling and acting career in Hollywood.

Hardy was 31 years old.

The Rumblings staff offers our condolences to Hardy’s family and friends during this difficult time.