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Hardy filling Mason's spot at starting wide receiver

James Hardy was starting along with Anquan Boldin at wide receiver as the Ravens opened training camp Thursday.

Hardy is currently replacing Derrick Mason, who will be released today. He looked impressive in the early non-contact drills. What stands out about him is his size (6 feet 5, 220 pounds).

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The Ravens signed Hardy to a futures contract on Jan. 12.

Hardy, 25, was taken in the second round by the Buffalo Bills in the 2008 draft. He had been a free agent since being cut by the Bills on Sept. 4.

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Hardy caught 10 passes in 16 games for the Bills in two seasons. He played two seasons for the Indiana University basketball team before focusing on football.

Hardy declared for the NFL draft after a junior season in which he caught 74 passes for 1,075 yards -- ranking third in the Big Ten in both categories. He also became the Hoosiers' all-time receiving leader in touchdowns (36), yards (2,690) and receptions (186).

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