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East Carolina's Justin Hardy sets FBS career receptions record

East Carolina senior Justin Hardy set the FBS career receptions record Saturday against Tulane with his 350th career catch.

The record-setting catch for Hardy (6-foot-0, 193 pounds), who began his career as a walk-on, came on an 8-yard grab in the second quarter of what became a 34-6 victory. Former Oklahoma star Ryan Broyles, now with the Detroit Lions, had held the FBS record of 349 receptions (set from 2008-11).

Hardy told reporters afterward he was glad he now has the record "so now I can just go out there and play."

Hardy, who needed four receptions to set the record, finished with nine catches for 104 yards. Hardy has three games left this season, including a bowl game, and conceivably could finish his career with somewhere around 380 receptions.

Hardy already has accepted an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl, and NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks has called him "a legitimate big-time prospect based on his performance, production and skills." Hardy has been used in a variety of roles by the Pirates, lining up in the slot and out wide.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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