Not long ago, Rocky Lombardi and Cole Hahn, teammates at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, were discussing potential scenarios of facing each other in the Big Ten Championship game with Lombardi headed to East Lansing to play quarterback at Michigan State, and Hahn on his way to Iowa as a preferred walk-on to kick for the Hawkeyes.
But now, the two are dreaming up of new scenarios that involves both leading the Spartans to success after Hahn became the final commitment of Michigan State’s 2017 recruiting class after receiving and accepting a scholarship offer late last month and both Hahn and Lombardi recently spoke with Spartan Nation.
“A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about it in the opposite terms, because before I knew anything about (going to) Michigan State, we were talking about facing each other, Iowa and Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game,” said Hahn. “But that would be something else, that would be a very special moment in my life, probably the best moment of my life at that time, that’d be a crazy moment.”
When it comes to playing with each other on the field, both Hahn and Lombardi marvel at each other’s abilities and look ahead to what one another may be able to accomplish on the football field in East Lansing.
“I think he was around 90% last year (touchback rate on kickoffs),” Lombardi said of Hahn. “He’ll put it out of the end zone sometimes and he made a few field goals last year from kicking off. He’s got a powerful leg.”
Hahn said that he admires Lombardi’s success not only in football, but on the wrestling mat, where he has proven to be one of the top wrestlers in the state of Iowa as well as Track and Field, where he throws the discus.
“The best freak athlete you will ever see in your life,” he said. “There is nothing that man cannot do, whatever test he goes up against, he is the best there is.
“He’s ranked nationally as a wrestler too, amazing discus thrower. There’s no more of a freak athlete in the entire nation than Rocky, he’s crazy. He’s going to be the biggest asset to MSU in the future. He’s a freak.”
With Hahn likely being the final piece to Michigan State’s 2017 class, Lombardi, a 6-foot-3, 220 pound signal caller, said that he believes the Spartans’ recruiting class is overlooked and expects big things out of this year’s class.
“I think we’re really underrated,” he said. “You’re not really sure how everything is going to play out in the beginning, but as I get closer to going up to Michigan State I think about how good our class is going to be.”
Lombardi was one of the first pledges that the Spartans had for the 2017 class as he committed back in April of 2016 and has done his fair share of recruiting for Michigan State over the course of the past year.
While Hahn will be one of two kickers on scholarship this fall, he said that he has been told by the Michigan State coaching staff that he will have a chance to compete for the opportunity to handle kickoff duties as well as place-kicking duties when he steps on campus this fall.
“First, they came and found me to kick off,” he said. “They needed somebody to kickoff, so they want me to specifically compete for kickoffs right away and they also said you can compete for field goals, if you can do it all, you can do it all, if you can just do kickoffs, you can just do kickoffs. I’m a competitor, so I’m really looking to do everything, I want to step in and be that guy freshman year.”
Hahn is listed as a 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds and has shown off some impressive range during his high school career, saying that he has booted field goals of over 60 yards in practice.
When Lombardi heard that his teammate and friend would be joining him in East Lansing, he said he was not only excited to once again play with Hahn, but was happy that his friend has the opportunity to play for his dream school.
“I was super excited,” he said. “He told me earlier that week that growing up, Michigan State was his dream school. I was really excited for him and that I could be a part of that.”
Be sure to stay tuned to Spartan Nation for all of the latest news regarding these highly touted Iowa recruits and the Spartans!