Football

Recruiting: Despite ACL, Spartans still want speedy WR K.J. Hamler

Kahlee Hamler

Kahlee Hamler

One of the fastest recruits in the nation for the class of 2017 is Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s Kahlee “K.J.” Hamler. Before IMG, Hamler starred in football and track for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Hamler is taking an official visit to Michigan State.

He was offered a scholarship by the Spartans over two years ago after he excelled at their summer camp. Since then, he has been on campus numerous times and has built a strong rapport with the MSU staff.

MSU was the first BCS school to extend a scholarship to Hamler and his recruitment has taken off since then. He now holds offers from Tennessee, Oregon, Nebraska, Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin among others.

Hamler is not the biggest player at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, but few are faster or more dynamic in the open field. Earlier this sprin,g Hamler won the MVP award at the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour. He is a four-star recruit and the No. 44 wide receiver in the nation for the class of 2017.

Hamler transferred to IMG earlier this summer in order to compete daily with many of the best players in the nation. Unfortunately, his season was cut short in the first game of the season when he tore his ACL. That injury has not dissuaded the Spartans level of interest in him.

Under Mark Dantonio, the Spartans have not been shy when it comes to taking players that have had injuries. Former standouts like Javon Ringer and Trae Waynes arrived in East Lansing after suffering season ending leg injuries as seniors in high school. Current 2017 linebacker commitment Darien Clemons suffered a season ending injury just a few weeks ago. Dantonio believes that a commitment is something that goes both ways and injury is not a disqualifying factor.

Dantonio always tells recruits to focus on building relationships. He wants players to make sure that the school they are selecting would be their choice even if they had an injury that he jeopardizes their career. Hamler will certainly have a better understanding of this fact due to his injury.

MSU is recruiting Hamler not only to play wide receiver, but also special teams. His role for the Spartans would likely be very similar to the way that RJ Shelton is used. Hamler’s speed would make him a weapon on the jet sweeps the Spartans often employ.

If the Spartans are able to add Hamler, he would team with current commitments Hunter Rison of Ann Arbor Skyline and Cody White of Walled Lake Western. The trio would give the Spartans a lot of talent and flexibility at wide receiver.

It is very possible that since Hamler is at IMG Academy, he could be eligible to enroll into college early. Though his injury would likely disqualify him from spring football, he could potentially participate in some strength and conditioning as well as sit in on team position meetings.

Matt Dorsey is a recruiting analyst for SpartanMag.com and Rivals.com.

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