March 16, 2009

Kimberly producing top talent

After back-to-back Division II WIAA state championships in 2007 and 2008, Kimberly head football coach Steve Jorgensen has had a number of BCS schools come knocking on his door in search of potential prospects.

One of those athletes, 2009 star A.J. Klein, recently signed his letter of intent with Iowa State over offers from Wyoming, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. With Klein already on his way to Ames, newly acquired head coach Paul Rhoads is back in Wisconsin actively recruiting Klein's former teammate and
2010 prospect, Mike Hardy.

Sunday night, caught up with Hardy, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end to discuss his latest offer from the Cyclones.

"I actually just received an offer from Iowa State on Saturday," Hardy said. "Now I have three offers and they are from Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa State.

"The Purdue offer was kind of a surprise. It kind of just came out of nowhere. Once Purdue offered me a scholarship Minnesota and Iowa State found out and followed up right after."

Hardy credits his early offers to a highlight tape he made this winter that he sent to a handful of BCS schools.

"I sent my highlight tape a bunch of schools," he explained. "I think that's where I've received most of my exposure. Also, Coach Jorgensen is really good friends with a few of the Minnesota coaches. They kind of knew me through him. Purdue has also had contact with Coach Jorgensen and that's how I found out I had an offer from them."

With offers already on the table from two BCS conferences, it seems as though the Badgers may be next in line to offer the Kimberly standout.

"Wisconsin has been showing me interest. I have to call Coach (Bob) Bostad on Monday," Hardy said. "I was able to make it their junior day; it's the second time I've been there. It's great to see what goes on behind closed doors. I really like the school and the coaches.

"I grew up a Badger fan but that won't play any role in my recruitment," he continued. "I'm going to pick a school where I feel comfortable academically and athletically. I plan on going into Kinesiology. That's the same thing A.J. (Klein) is going for and he's had a lot of good things to say about Iowa State as far as our major."

Hardy is also receiving interest from Iowa, Nebraska, Northern Illinois and North Dakota State.

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