Body found in Fort Wayne river identified as former NFL and IU football player James Hardy

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James Hardy #82 makes a catch on November 11, 2006 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Allen County Coroner’s Office confirmed that a body found in a Fort Wayne river is that of 31-year-old James Hardy.

Police and rescue crews responded to a report of a body in the Maumee River at the Hosey Dam on Wednesday, WANE reports. An employee with the city’s water filtration plant was making his regular rounds when he made the discovery. Hardy’s cause and manner of death are still pending at this time.

Hardy, a Fort Wayne native, was initially a top basketball prospect, and he arrived at Indiana University in 2004 with the intent of playing hoops. But after just one season, he decided to switch sports and play football for the school.

He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills prior to graduation in 2008. He suffered a hamstring injury during his time in Buffalo, and he was released by the team in 2010. He was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens for a short time, but ultimately, his NFL career ended in 2011.

According to TMZ, Hardy was committed to a state mental institution in 2014 after he was arrested for attacking several officers in Los Angeles.

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