Conrad Hawley picks Kansas, will enroll early
Conrad Hawley maintained he wanted to be patient and not rush the recruiting process. On Tuesday Hawley announced his verbal commitment to Kansas.
Now, he might change pace and not be so patient and start rushing about what he might take to college.
Along with his announcement that he was giving his word to the Jayhawks, also came he fact he will enroll in January and go through spring football.
“I had been set to graduate early since my junior year,” Hawley said. “It's something I've always wanted to do. And I feel like I did it for a reason and that reason and opportunity presented itself.”
Hawley can use the early arrival to continue to improve on his game and compete for a starting spot. As a junior he weighed 174 pounds and this year played at 220. He hopes to continue the improvement physically and get a head start learning the offense.
“I was extremely, extremely excited to hear,” he said of arriving early. “If you give me four months in the weight room and on the field and time to develop with my new teammates, sit in the film room, and be in there whenever I want and watch as much as I can, then that's all I can ask. It's like heaven on earth. It's what I'm born to do.”
Kansas has been targeting the quarterback for a long time. In the end they won him over with the relationships he built with the coaching staff that started with offensive quality coach Travis Partridge.
“He’s followed me since I was younger,” Hawley said. “And he's always had my back and he's always pushed for me. I've developed a great relationship with him. He's my right-hand man.”
Hawley’s film quickly moved up the chain of command and found its way to offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon’s desk.
Dearmon also built a relationship with Hawley that grew over time.
“I've gotten to know Coach Dearmon really, really well,” Hawley said. “Not only as a football coach, but as a man. And they've shown me that they have all the tools to help me be successful and help change the program around. I want to go there and bring life to Kansas and get to the league.”
This season Hawley took home every piece of hardware a high school player can have. He won Simone Award, which goes to the best player in Kansas City. He was all-state and the Offensive Player of the Year in Missouri. He helped lead Ray-Pec to the state title. If there was an award, he earned it.
When Hawley informed the coaches of his decision to pick Kansas, he said it was received well.
“Oh, everybody was going crazy,” Hawley said. “They were sending me videos of their families jumping up and down, and everybody was ecstatic. It seemed like they couldn't be happier. They are just pumped that I'm going to come into the program and work my butt off, study as hard as I can and help lead a bunch of guys.”
In the end Hawley said his final three was Kansas, Missouri, and Purdue. There was a preferred walk-on spot from Alabama and late interest from Florida State and Vanderbilt.
He heard a lot of positive things from his former teammate Luke Grimm, who is coming off a good freshman season at Kansas. The two are close and spoke a lot about the Jayhawks program.
“I feel like they're bringing the right guys into the building to change the program around,” Hawley said. “Kansas recruited me the hardest. They've been there the longest, and they made it apparent that they want me to come work my butt off and see what happens in the fall of my freshman year.”