June 10, 2016
DETROIT – KJ Hamler’s play at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s has already earned him more than two dozen scholarship offers.
But the 2017 four-star wide receiver and Michigan target is still looking for something more and will transfer to national powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
“It was nothing personal with my school at all, it was just a better opportunity,” he said during the first day of the Sound Mind Sound Body camp on Thursday at Wayne State University. “It’s all about growth, it’s all about the future right now, just getting ready for college, getting prepared for college. I just thought that IMG would be the perfect fit to get me mentally and physically better. It’s just like college down there, so I just need to be prepared for the next level.”
Hamler, 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds, is the No. 41 receiver and No. 305 player overall in the nation, according to 247 Spots Composite rankings. He has 26 total offers, including Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon and others, and didn’t hesitate talking about why the Wolverines stand out.
“Coach (Jim) Harbaugh – he’s the main reason why,” Hamler said. “That’s the man with the plan – energetic, electric and he comes down there to win championships. That’s what I’m all about, I like winning and I think he can get you to that place.
“If you’ve got a good coach, you’ve got a good team. That’s how I put it.”
Hamler doesn’t have a specific timeline for trimming his list down to favorites but wants to commit before National Signing Day in February.
“I’m basically just reviewing the process moving forward,” he said. “I’m trying to narrow some schools down. It’s real tough for me right now, going through 26 of them, but I’ve just got to look into more of the schools, look into more detail and take more visits to see what they’re like and what they want to do with me down there. I’m not planning on committing right now, but hopefully I’ll be doing it during the season or after the season.”
Hamler’s summer will include a trip to the Nike The Opening Finals, July 5-10 in Beaverton, Ore., for the top recruits. He earned the invitation for his performance at a regional event in Ohio.
“It’s a big deal for me,” Hamler said. “It was one of my goals since I didn’t get the invite last year. I did win MVP last year at the camp (in Chicago), but I just didn’t get the invite. This year that was one of my goals just to strive to get to The Opening and God blessed me so it happened.”