Valley kicker Cole Hahn to walk on with Hawkeyes

Chris Cuellar

West Des Moines Valley senior Cole Hahn has eschewed a handful of scholarship offers to walk on as a kicker at Iowa.

The four-year varsity player made 23 of the 33 total field goals attempts in his career, including a 52-yard long as a senior, and blasted 59 of his 66 kickoffs for touchbacks last season.

Hahn chose the Hawkeyes over offers and interest in FCS and Division II. The well-regarded Kohl’s Camps national rankings place Hahn as the No. 15 kicking prospect in 2017.

“The recruitment of kickers is different from position players, and so many of them have walk-on situations where they have to go in and prove themselves,” Valley coach Gary Swenson said.

Valley's Cole Hahn (95) kicks a field goal on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, during a football game between Waukee and Valley High schools at Waukee High School

“There were packages that included athletic money, but I just think Cole feels like he can kick at a higher level.”

The Hawkeyes already have five kickers on staff, and junior Mick Ellis is believed to be the only one on scholarship. Keith Duncan was the starter as a true freshman walk-on last season, making 9-of-11 field goals and 38-of-39 PATs, including a 33-yard game-winning kick against Michigan in November.

Iowa’s three other kickers were former in-state preps, including Mason City’s Miguel Recinos, Solon’s Josh Proehl and Council Bluffs Lewis Central’s Caleb Shudak.

“Field goal-wise, we had no reservations about putting Cole on the field in any situation,” Swenson said. “It didn’t matter the distance or the pressure.”

Hahn is the second Tiger to verbally pledge to walk on in Iowa City next season. Linebacker Ben Campos committed to a preferred walk-on spot last month.