FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Julia helped lead the Clovis High Cougars to their first state regional title in school history. The defender also received the prestigious B'nai B'rith scholar-athlete award, maintaining a 4.23-grade point average.
She is now majoring in business at Fresno State.
"When I went on my visit, and just seeing the facilities and just everything Fresno State had to offer," she said. "With both my parents going to Fresno State, it obviously urged me to choose there too."
Hardwick is Bulldog Born, Bulldog Bred; Her parents met at the university after her father helped lead the football team to one of their most memorable win in school history.
"Obviously, me and her mother wanted her to go there, wanted her to be a Bulldog and experience the things I got to as a student-athlete, but it was going to be her path," says Jesse Hardwick. "But I was super excited and stoked that she chose to go there. For one, we support Fresno State and everything they do, and the bonus of having her close by so we can watch her going through this path of being a student-athlete the next few years as her journey."
Jesse was an all-conference offensive tackle for the Dogs and played in the 1992 Freedom Bowl. It's been 28 years since Fresno State defeated USC 24-7 under Head Coach Jim Sweeney.
"Anytime Fresno State plays USC, that games comes up because it was a pretty monumental game," he said. "Not just for the football program, but for Fresno State in general. It was definitely a game that put Fresno State on the map at that time. Back then, it was called the PAC-10. It was really a stepping stone for the football program and Fresno State overall. For memories, for me personally, I grew up in Orange County, basically five miles from the stadium we played this game in, so it was kind of full circle. I left there and came to Fresno State. Now, I get to go back home and play in front of family and friends against a team that I used to love watching, USC, so it was bittersweet, let's put it that way."
Jesse's daughter, Julia, now has a chance to make her mark at Fresno State and already feels at home, having played with and against a handful of girls on the team from the Valley.
"Based on these past six weeks, I think our team will do really well and finish out really good," she said. "It's a whole other level than what I was playing in high school and club. There's four or five other girls from this area and actually, my best friend from high school is playing with me, so that's super cool playing with people I know and having that connection."
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