On Saturday, one of the most interesting commitments of the offseason occurred as former Kansas quarterback Conrad Hawley decided to take his talents to Iowa State to play basketball, not football.
Hawley is a 6-foot-6 prospect who spent just over one year in the Jayhawk football program. In high school, he was ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals for football. While he did play hoops in high school, he was not ranked, and saw his career shift its focus to the gridiron shortly after the pandemic struck.
“I played football and basketball in high school, and then when COVID happened, I put on a bunch of weight and got recruited way more to go play football than basketball, so I chose to go play football,” Hawley told The Portal Report. “But I have always been a basketball guy, and that appeared in the way I played football. A lot of jump throws, a lot of off-balance stuff, a lot of arm angles. I have always loved the game of basketball. I spent a year and a half at KU and I was like, you know what, I want to get back into hoops.”
When Hawley entered the transfer portal months ago, he was not looking for any football opportunities. He was all set on hoops, and when he got the call from Iowa State, he knew the fit was just right.
“So basically I’ve been working my butt off, trying to get something going, and Iowa State got into touch with me, and the coaches were great,” he added. “They were looking for a guy who can do what I do and they were looking for a guy that is going to work really hard, be a great teammate, be a great leader, and so, it was really just a great opportunity.”
Hawley’s latest highlight on his basketball Hudl.com page is a charging foul that he drew back in 2018, when he was a sophomore playing up on varsity. There are not many other clips on his highlight page other than a few steals and a singular three-pointer he hit early in that sophomore season. So what’s the scoop on Hawley’s skill set?
“Growing up, I was a point guard all the way until high school when they said alright, if you want to play varsity as a freshman, you’ve got to be a post player,” he said. “So I switched to more of the forward and post position in high school. And then all throughout high school and then in the EYBL I guarded all five positions. In college I think I’ll be able to guard and play the 2, 3, and 4. I’m a little rusty. Probably not as good as I once was, but give me a month and I’ll be there. I can probably play the two three and four just fine as far as dribbling, passing, and shooting goes, and I think that playing quarterback is going to allow me to be a really good basketball player. You have to do everything with your eyes up and be aware of your surroundings.”
As a young hooper in the pre-COVID days, Hawley did hold some Division II offers as a sophomore. He said that some low major programs came calling into his junior year as well. But once his first big football offer came in, he decided to center his focus on that.
“I honestly just want to be a great teammate,” Hawley said about his goals for his career at Iowa State. “I want, when my career is over, guys who either played with me or coaches who coaches me, I want them to say you know what, that guy is a good kid. He is respectful and he worked his butt off. He was an enjoyable person. That to me is the biggest deal. If I do all of that stuff, all of the other stuff will take care of itself, so that is really my goal.”