Campers learn from outstanding veteran college and high school coaches selected for their ability to coach and teach the game of football. The staff is complimented with Nick Hardwick & Vincent Brown will be on hand coaching. Click here for more information.
Disclaimer: This event listing is intended for informational purposes only and is not controlled or endorsed in any way by the San Diego Chargers.
Hardwick (6-4, 305) is an nine-year center in his ninth year with the Chargers.
After the 2011 season ended, center Nick Hardwick had an important decision to make. He was an unrestricted free agent, a new father and one of his best friends and linemates - left guard Kris Dielman - retired after suffering a serious concussion last season. All of it led Hardwick to ponder whether he wanted to continue playing football, and if he did, whether he wanted to play it in San Diego or make a fresh start elsewhere. When the dust settled just prior to the start of free agency, Hardwick decided home is where the heart is and he opted to sign a new three-year contract with the Chargers that will keep him in San Diego through the 2014 season.
Having the chance to continue in the same city where he started his career lifted a huge burden from the shoulders of Hardwick and his wife, Jayme. One of the most highly-regarded centers in the game and a member of the Chargers 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, Hardwick comes into 2012 having started 103 career games and 34 straight. Last season, he started all 16 games for the second year in a row and he was selected by teammates as the Chargers’ Lineman of the Year. He was also chosen as a third-alternate to the AFC Pro Bowl squad.
With all the accolades, it’s hard to believe that just three seasons ago Hardwick suffered an ankle injury so serious that it nearly ended his career. He missed 13 games during the 2009 season, but returned for a late-season push to the playoffs and hasn’t missed a game since. Charged with calling out the blocking schemes and making changes at the line of scrimmage, Hardwick has a close bond with quarterback Philip Rivers. A year ago they appeared together on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s NFL Preview issue. When Hardwick started all 16 games for the NFL’s No. 1 ranked offense in 2010, teammates honored him with a share of the team’s Emil Karas Memorial Award as its most inspirational player. A Pro Bowl selection in 2006,
Hardwick has been a starter since his rookie season (2004). The Chargers have rushed for at least 1,700 yards in every season that he has started at least 12 games, including a team-record 2,578 yards in ’06.
Hardwick grew up in Indianapolis where he was a standout prep wrestler with dreams of becoming a Marine aviator. One of his father’s cousins, Joe McCormick, was a former Air Force pilot and Hardwick acquired his pilot’s license before he turned 18. He earned the money to pay for his flying lessons by collecting golf balls at a local driving range. With an eye toward the service, Hardwick went to Purdue on a Marine Corps ROTC Scholarship. But after former Chargers quarterback Drew Brees led the Boilermakers to the 2001 Rose Bowl, Hardwick saw the excitement it generated on the Purdue campus, and the following fall he decided to walk on to the school’s football team. A year after earning a spot as a scout team defensive tackle, Hardwick became the Boilermakers’ starting center and earned all-conference honors.
His wife, Jayme, is also a former Boilermaker. She played soccer for Purdue’s women’s team. Hardwick maintains close ties to his alma mater. In 2007, he endowed a football scholarship at the school that is given annually to a walk-on player who earns it, just as Hardwick did. And in 2008, Purdue presented him with the Drew Brees Mental Attitude Award, presented by the Joe Tiller/Northwest Indiana Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Hardwick became the fourth former Boilermaker to receive the award. Brees chooses the winner each year to recognize an athlete who exemplifies exceptional mental attitude. Owner of a management degree from Purdue, Hardwick is the Chargers’ union representative and he guided the players through the NFL Lockout in 2011.
He sharpened his business acumen when he attended the NFL’s Business and Entrepreneurial Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. It is a special program where NFL players and front office employees spend a week learning a broad range of business topics from some of the country’s most well-known educators. In December 2011, the Hardwicks became first-time parents. Son, Hudson Harold, was born the night before the Chargers’ nationally-televised game against the Baltimore Ravens. NBC showed America a picture of baby Hudson during the following night’s game broadcast. Hardwick supports the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation (MCLEF), an organization that raises money to provide advanced education for the children of Marines and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. He also enjoys reading and drawing. As a youth in Indianapolis, Hardwick played hockey on a traveling team that competed throughout the U.S. and Canada.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Third-round pick (66), April 24, 2004…signed July 29, 2004...signed six-year contract thru 2011, June 16, 2006.
2011: Hardwick started his 100th career game Week 14 against Buffalo.
2010: Chargers’ co-Most Inspirational Player...offensive line blocked for 180 rush yards and allowed just one sack in 41-10 win vs. Arizona Oct. 3...offensive line named Madden Most Valuable Protectors after season-high 207 yards rushing in 31-0 win vs. Kansas City Dec. 12.
2009: Removed from game due to left ankle injury Week 1 at OAK...missed next 13 games...returned to starting lineup Dec. 25 at TEN and helped Chargers rush for 166 yards while only allowing one sack in 28 pass plays...started Week 16 and Wild Card Playoffs.
2008: Pro Bowl third-alternate…INA Wks 1-3 (foot)…started Week 4 at OAK…Week 14 at KC, left in 3Q (concussion)...started following week when Philip Rivers threw career-high four TDs in 41-24 win at TB…anchored team-record 289-yard rushing performance in AFC West-clinching win vs. DEN Dec. 28…blocked for 167-yard rush night in Jan. 5 Wild
Card win vs. IND as Bolts scored GW TD on 22-yard run in OT.
2007: USA Today Sports Weekly All-NFL and USA Today All-Joe…Pro Bowl second-alternate…Oct. 7 at DEN, OL cleared way for 214 yards rushing…inj foot Oct. 14 vs. Raiders and left contest…INA Wks 7-10…returned to starting-11 Nov. 25 vs. BAL…anchored 191-yard rush game in 24-10 win at KC Dec. 2, including rush TDs of 31 and 28 yards in 3Q and 4Q to break 10-10 tie…blocked for 274 yard rush game and DNA any sacks vs. DET Dec. 16…OL DNA any sacks in Jan. 13 Divisional Playoff win at IND and line had perfect blocks as Billy Volek scored GW TD on one-yard QB sneak.
2006: Pro Bowl selection…OL anchored 241-yard rushing day and three TDs with no sacks vs. TEN Sept. 17…150 yards rushing Wk 3 vs. BAL, which was ranked No. 1 in
NFL vs. run and only surrendering 34.3 rush ypg coming into contest…big day vs. STL Oct. 29 as Bolts rushed for 216 yards...starting five OL named Chargers Alumni POW after Nov. 19 win at DEN…anchored 265-yard rush game, then fifth-most in team history, in 20-9 win over KC Dec. 17.
2005: Paved way for 268 yards rushing, then third-best in team history, and DNA any sacks vs. NYG in ESPN SNF game Sept. 25…line DNA any sacks for second-consecutive week and helped Chargers rush for 183 yards in Oct. 2 win at NE to end Patriots' NFL record 21-game home win streak…left OAK game Oct. 16 with high ankle sprain…INA Wks 7-9…returned to starting lineup Wk 10 vs. BUF...created running lanes for 202-yard rush effort, including GW TD run in OT, at WAS Wk 11…in 26-17 win at IND Dec. 18, OL blocked for 206 rush yards.
2004: ESPN.com All-Rookie…left TEN game Oct. 3 (knee)… INA Wks 5-6…Chargers Alumni POW along with starting OL following Nov. 28 win at KC…left playoff game vs. NYJ (ankle)…returned for one play and but then suffered knee injury and DNR.
COLLEGE: Second-team All-Big Ten...Boilermakers Pit Bull Award for tenacity and intensity as senior…Academic All-Big Ten as junior…walked on in 2001 as scout team DT...earned
scholarship before junior season…played at Purdue from 2001-03…economics degree.
PERSONAL: Born in Franklin, Indiana…earned three wrestling letters at Lawrence North HS in Indianapolis…member of state championship wrestling team… played football as frosh.
The San Diego Chargers tied for the top record in the AFC West last year with an 8-8 mark. Relive each memorable win as we break down some of the greatest moments from the 2011 season. We continue with Week 13’s triumph in Jacksonville on Monday Night Football.
Gavin Grady, an eighth grader at Correia Middle School, recently was a special Journalist for a Day at Chargers Park. Here is his interview with one of his favorite Chargers, center Nick Hardwick.