After a 1-12 campaign in 2010, about all San Jose State
head coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff had to present to prospective student-athletes during his early recruiting trips is that things would get better. That was enough for offensive lineman Kyle Hart
of Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest, Calif. He verbally committed to the Spartans in August.
Ridgecrest it tucked nicely in the Antelope Valley along he Eastern Sierra Nevada range between Los Angeles and Reno. It's not known for producing Football Bowl Subdivision Talent, but that didn't stop Hart from making every effort to get noticed.
He attended several camps in the summer after his junior year, and caught the attention of SJSU's offensive line coach.
"I went to their camp, then the next week I was at another camp and Coach (Gary) Bernardi was able to see me in pads," Hart said. "I guess they saw a lot of potential in me. I went down to San Jose State in July and that's when they offered me."
The summer camps weren't the first exposure Hart had to the SJSU staff. In their desire to leave no corner unturned, coaches were in the Antelope Valley last spring, and Burroughs head coach Todd Mather introduced him to his budding star.
The relationship that developed between Hart and the SJSU staff was instrumental in his decision to pledge so early for the Spartans.
"I really liked that they liked me," he said. "I liked what Coach Mac had to say about the program and what he had to offer. I also liked the location, my parents can come see me play, and it just seemed perfect for me."
It often happens that when a hidden gem such as Hart is finally revealed to the football world, other programs take notice and begin their push to such a player to take a look at what they have to offer. For Hart it's been no different, but he's held firm to his word.
"I've heard from a lot of other schools," he said. "But I just thank them for their interest in me and tell them I'm committed to San Jose State and that's not going to change."
Hart returned to the San Jose State campus in December for his official visit, which further confirmed for him that he'd made the right decision.
"The best thing about that visit was that I was finally able to meet the players," he said. "It was nice to hang around with the guys I'll be playing with and they were great. I really enjoyed it."
Also during the visit, Hart said he was shown plans for the new North Endzone and that he came away impressed.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Hart said his host was fellow lineman Doug Blacksill
. Hart added that he is slotted to line up with Blacksill at the center position, where's played for the last seven years.
"They want to redshirt me my first year so that I can get bigger and learn the system," he said. "That will give me five years to play four."
Hart added that he talks to his recruiter, SJSU coach John DeFilipo, on a regular basis. He also said that the improved Spartans record in 2011 further convinced him that was Coach Mac had promised him back in the summer was the truth.
Burroughs finished the season with a 6-6 record and bowed out in the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs after a 45-10 loss to Citrus Hill of Perris, Calif.
Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta
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Offensive lineman Kyle Hart of Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest, Calif., was one of the first commitments of the 2012 recruiting class for San Jose State. He spoke recently with Inside Sparta on why he pledged so early, and why he hasn't considered going any where else.
Antelope Valley star pledged to the Spartans in the summer and hasn't waivered.