There’s been a long line of professional athletes that use that first paycheck to treat their loved ones.
Former University of Georgia football player and current Kansas City Chiefs rookie Mecole Hardman uploaded a video to his social media accounts on July 18 of him gifting his mother, Danyell Hardman, with a new home. Buying his mom a house had been a dream of Hardman’s since he was eight years old.
“Now to finally do it words can’t explain how happy I am,” Hardman said via Twitter. “It’s my turn to take care of you now.”
As Hardman was interviewed when he arrived at Kansas City Chiefs training camp on Tuesday, July 22, he talked about how special the moment was for him and his mom and how the process came together.
“Actually she picked it out,” Hardman said. “She didn’t actually know I was going to get it for her, so it was a good surprise for her. I was just happy I did it for her.”
Hardman was drafted 56th overall in the 2019 NFL draft. He signed a rookie deal that was reportedly worth around $5 million over four years. The contract supposedly includes a $1.6 million signing bonus.
Hardman is following in the footsteps of players before him, including other former Bulldogs. Former Georgia star running back Todd Gurley spent the 2016 offseason helping his home state of North Carolina recover from Hurricane Matthew.
Fellow rookie and former teammate Deandre Baker also surprised his mother with a Bentley after being drafted in the first round by the New York Giants.
On the field with Georgia, Hardman had an excellent junior season in 2018. He was a factor in both the passing game and as a kick returner. In 14 games last season, Hardman caught 35 passes for 543 yards and seven touchdowns. As a returner, he received 14 kickoffs, taking them for 353 yards. Hardman also returned 16 punts for 321 yards and a touchdown.
The former Bulldog has already impressed during his short time with Kansas City. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, along with the rest of the coaching staff, said he loves what Hardman has done so far in offseason training.
“We’re asking him to do a lot and he’s staying up on it,” Reid said in early June. “Sometimes he’s not quite sure and there’s a little hesitation, then the next time he runs it, he’s got it. So that’s what you’re looking for. We’ve been happy with his progress.”
Hardman has all the tools to be a factor early in his professional football career. He has value both as a receiver and kick returner at this level. Hardman has electric speed which will give him an early edge on the depth chart.
The Georgia product could be a force on the field, but his actions off the field have already grabbed headlines for all the right reasons.