Haase More of a Focal Point in '04

Iowa State's first commitment for the Class of 2005 has had an interesting senior year at Bonne Terra (Mo.) North County High, as he has switched positions on offense. A.J. Haase spoke about the change and shared some thoughts on the Cyclones' 2004 season in a question-and-answer session.

CN: Why don't you start by talking about the season your team is currently having?

A.J. Haase: We're 8-and-0 right now and my team is looking pretty strong. I'm playing quarterback right now, and still linebacker on defense. If we win out our next two games, we're district champions in Class 4A. We play Festus on Friday. Our hope is to go into the state playoffs and state championship. We'll see how it goes.

CN: How has the move to quarterback gone for you?

Haase: I kind of got put there by default from an injury. I was put there to fill a void. I had two good games and our coach just left me there. He likes when I have the ball in my hand every play. I think I've thrown for around 1,200 yards in six games. I have thrown 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions. I usually get about 50 or 70 rushing yards a game.

CN: Given your responsibilities at quarterback, are you still playing at a high level on defense?

Haase: I know I'm leading the team in tackles. I'm averaging about 10 to 12 a game. I have one interception. I haven't really rushed the passer this year, and am mainly in pass coverage.

CN: Have you kept in pretty close contact with the Iowa State coaching staff this fall?

Haase: Yeah, we talk all the time. I've come up for two games. One was against Northern Illinois and the other was Texas A&M. I think things are looking really good up there. I watched the Colorado game on TV and we were a kicker away from winning that game. I heard the Iowa game and the kicker missed three field goals that game. That's two games where the backup kicker kind of kicked that one away.

I'm not feeling bad at all about how the season is going. As far as I know, if they win out they could win the Big 12 North. They can play with those four teams. Some good fortune and solid play could just land them in the spot nobody thought they could be in.

I'm still excited about my decision and haven't wavered from my commitment. I can't wait to get up there and put the pads on.

CN: Have any other programs tried to get in touch with you since your commitment?

Haase: My coach told me that he's been contacted by pretty much all the Big 12 programs. But he tells them that I haven't wavered from my commitment, so they never really get in contact with me. They have always called him. Yale and Harvard have been recruiting me pretty heavily for some reason.

CN: Do you plan on playing other sports this winter or in the spring?

Haase: I don't think I'm going to play anything else throughout high school. I'm going to concentrate on running and lifting on my own, and getting ready to play football. I'll be up in Ames as early as I can next summer to start workouts.

CN: Have you had any more talks with the coaching staff about which position you might be playing?

Haase: Quarterback is out of the question. I don't want to play quarterback in college and Coach Mac told me not to worry about them wanting to put me there in college. I asked them if they were leaning towards offense or defense, and he said they were wide open for me. Personally, I like that, just being able to go there, play hard, and play wherever they want me to play.

CN: Do you remain in contact with fellow ISU commitment Trent Flander?

Haase: He and I talk about three times a week. I've heard whenever he's gotten his hands on the ball this season for his high school team, he's made stuff happen. But people have been double- and triple-teaming him. He's a big-time player, though.

CN: Are you guys planning an official visit together?

Haase: I talked to him about that earlier this week. We like the idea of December 3rd, but we're going to talk about it with our parents this week and decide. It's not really set in stone, but we really like that weekend. Either way, we'll be taking our visits at the same time.

AllCyclones Top Stories