One week ago, Cole Hahn awaited the phone call. Would Michigan State offer?
He knew they were interested. Recruiting coordinator Brad Salem had recently visited the West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley senior kicker. The Spartans spring game confirmed their dissatisfaction with the team’s kickoff performance, and they were willing to use a scholarship to make improvements.
Hahn hadn’t heard from any other schools since committing to Iowa as a walk-on. He’d earned offers from smaller schools but felt deserving of a Division I opportunity. Then on April 25, he got the call — and an offer — from Michigan State.
“I just kind of patiently waited for Coach Salem to give me a call and tell me what was going on,” Hahn said. “When he called me and told me that I was the one, I was very excited. … I would have had to have been a fool to not take that offer.”
Proud to announce my commitment. Go Green!! pic.twitter.com/uy9o1zXavR
— Cole Hahn (@cole_hahn1) April 27, 2017
So he did. Two days later, Hahn turned to Twitter, announcing that he had committed to the Spartans. Then he arrived in East Lansing for his two-day official visit and told Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio in person.
A former soccer player, Hahn’s main attribute is power. In November’s River Battle Bowl, a prep all-star event, he booted a 58-yard field goal, his longest in a game.
— River Battle Bowl (@riverbattlebowl) November 28, 2016
Because of that leg, and because of Michigan State’s issues sending kickoffs out of bounds in 2016, the Spartans want Hahn to contribute right away.
“I will have to earn my playing time like everybody else,” he said. “They’re looking at me right now as a kickoff specialist, but I plan on doing my best to earn the starting job in that and also earn the job for field goals.”
At Michigan State, Hahn will join a classmate and teammate, Valley quarterback Rocky Lombardi. The Spartans had seen him kick while watching Lombardi in person, but they didn’t show interest until April.
And what better kicking prospect to pursue than one who shares his name with footwear company Cole Haan.
“I’ve gotten used to it over the years,” he said.
And from his Twitter account, it looks like he even embraces it.
Bin shots in my Cole Haan's pic.twitter.com/fkI6pb73J0
— Cole Hahn (@cole_hahn1) May 2, 2017
Soon he’ll be taking that leg to East Lansing. And although the interest came late, Hahn intends to make an immediate impact.
“First off, I want to win the starting job this year for both field goal and kickoff as a freshman and keep those duties all four years, or however many years I’m there,” he said. “I want to be Big Ten [Bakken-Andersen] Kicker of the Year ideally four years, but as many years as I can, and hopefully one of those years win the Lou Groza [Award for top college football placekicker].
“That would be a phenomenal career at Michigan State.”