Iowa State Head Coach Matt Campbell has been pursuing 2017 Bradenton, FL (IMG Academy) four-star WR K.J. Hamler for over four years now. Before any other program was interested in Hamler, there was Campbell. A few years back, the summer Hamler was going to be a freshman at Orchard Lake High School, located in Michigan, he attended a one-day recruiting camp which was hosted by first-year Toledo Head Coach Matt Campbell. After the camp, the youngster received his first offer ever from Toledo.
Flash forward a few years from June 2013, the 5-foot-9, 155-pound Hamler has turned into the nation’s premier receiver and holds offers from programs all over the country. Now, Campbell has moved on to Iowa State, and due to his offer from the staff along with the longstanding relationship is paying dividends for Iowa State. Hamler recently released a top five, including the Cyclones, Oregon, Arizona, Penn State, and Michigan State.
“Iowa State was one of my favorite schools just because the fact that Coach Campbell went there,” Hamler said about the Iowa State Head Coach. “Coach Campbell was the first coach to offer and believe in me when he was at Toledo, even when I didn't have any varsity film. But him and I have had a strong bond from then on. He's a great coach and I would love to be apart of a program where he coaches at.”
Hamler visited Iowa State last summer on June 25th, that visit for the four-star receiver really pushed the Cyclones up his list of schools. This fall, Hamler will be taking all five of his official visits, his first one was last week to Penn State, then he will be at Michigan State this weekend, and Oregon on October 28th. Iowa State will get an official visit from Hamler, the question is when.
“The visit was actually better than I expected," Hamler said about his June 25th visit to Ames. "I thought it would be a ghost town, but it was actually way better. Their facilities and just the environment was great. I’m trying to set up a return visit to Iowa State, they will for sure get an official visit from me.”
Fellow 2017 Iowa State commit, CB Richie Bowens III, was a former teammate with Hamler for three years back at St. Marys in Michigan. Both of them stay in constant contact with each other, even went on a visit with together back in June to Ames, Iowa.
“He's one of my best friends since freshmen year, so we talk all the time. He gives me hints for why I should come there, he pursues me very hard to Iowa State.”
Hamler, who attended IMG Academy and transferred from his high school in Michigan, suffered a torn ACL injury in his first game of the season. The Iowa State target did say that he is expected to be fully recovered by the time he arrives at a college of his choice this summer. Despite the injury, programs including Iowa State have not slowed the recruiting process with Hamler.