Valley kicker flips as Iowa walk-on for Michigan State offer

Chris Cuellar

Cole Hahn waited months to make a recruiting decision before committing as a walk-on at Iowa.

Valley's Cole Hahn (95) made eight of the 14 field goals he attempted as a senior.

On Thursday, the West Des Moines Valley senior kicker had his early patience pay off. Hahn swapped his late walk-on pledge for a scholarship offer at Michigan State, where the four-year varsity player can join Valley quarterback Rocky Lombardi on a Big Ten roster next season.

Hahn made 23 of the 33 field goals he attempted for the Tigers, including a 52-yarder as a senior. He also recorded touchbacks on 59 of his 66 kickoffs.

The 5-foot-10 kicking prospect held FCS and Division II offers when he committed to the Hawkeyes in January, but a scholarship from the Spartans was too good to pass up.

“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 head coach Gary Swenson said in January.

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

Iowa currently lists five kickers on its 2017 spring roster. Keith Duncan became the 2016 starter as a true freshman. Junior-to-be Mick Ellis has been on scholarship. Michigan State lists two kickers on its current roster.

With his flip almost three months after National Signing Day, Hahn becomes the 18th player in the state’s 2017 class to commit to a Power 5 scholarship.