Recruit Focus: Jake Hanson

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Jake Hanson

4 Star (5.9)
HT: 6′ 5″
WT: 285
POS: Offensive Tackle
HOMETOWN: Eureka, California
OTHER OFFERS: Arizona, California, Fresno State, Hawaii, ducks, San Jose State, Utah, Washington State

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Offensive Tackle
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Andy Levitre, Tavita Thompson

– Great first step and punch
– Legs drive on contact
– Great hand placement on blocks and uses helmet to continue drive
– Plays very strong and drives players into the ground
– Great, even stance for pass or run blocking
– Efficient pass blocking stance and covers defender with feet
– Athletic enough to pull and reach outside defenders
– Blocks well in space
– Plays aggressive and violently at point of attack and throughout block
– Uses punch to force opponents shoulder pad level up so that he can drive them
– Keeps defenders at arms length on pass blocking so they cannot get their bodies into him (great first step)

– Latches on with hands, can get extended to a hold
– Lots of great blocks against smaller players, not sure about level of competition
– Engages head on blocks and can lean a bit

Jake is probably #1 on my list of Beaver offensive line targets, and maybe class wide targets.  There are a few guys that are a little more talented, but to be honest, I think he is the highest rated offensive lineman and tackle prospect that the Beavers have a legitimate shot at signing.

There is a lot to like here, hence my comparisons to Levitre and Thompson.  Jake Hanson is a very talented blocker with impeccable technique for a high school junior and a great body for the Division 1 level.  I think he would be the most D1 ready player OSU could land since Harlow.

A couple hings that excite me about Jake is that he has a very balanced and powerful stance.  If you watch at 4:32 of his Junior Highlight film, you will see that he makes no false steps or jerky motions getting into his pass blocking stance, and is able to get set up a yard away from his defender before the defender even gets across the line of scrimmage.   He is out of his stance and his feet are moving right away.  (You might also notice that the defender is a little gun shy.  I noticed that a bunch in these films and when you see how physical Jake is, you will understand why.  But more on that later…)

Now watch the film at 5:45.  His stance looks the same and while he does dip his outside knee a bit, his first move is to turn his inside foot so he can go down and make a block.  There are a lot of examples of him taking very steep side steps to reach outside defenders and he is very effective once he gets there.  This ability to be powerful and agile out of your stance without a lot of extra movement is a testament to his coaching and their attention to detail.  These are things that are going to help him once he gets to the next level.

The other really impressive part of Jake’s film is how powerful he is. He is able to use his hands, head and strength to straighten up the blockers and get them extended and on their heels. In pass blocking situations he is strong enough to keep separation between his body and his defenders so that they cannot lean into him and drive him into the quarterback. There are a ridiculous number of blocks that end with him driving his opponent in to the ground.  There are also more than a couple plays where the defender looks a little cautious in their approach, as if they are not sure what he is going to do to them.

You can also see on the pass blocking plays he had, how quickly he can get back and set up, and how he keeps his feet under him on those blocks so that he never gets extended and holds or just loses the block.  The other thing I see Jake doing is keeping a good body placement, so ends cannot cut back inside and get the sack.  Players with slower feet can try and race ahead of the defender so they don’t get beat, but that leaves you wide open for a cut back.  Jake keeps his outside eye with the inside eye of the defender so if they stop and come back they are driving into his body and not just his hands.

Ultimately, little things like occasionally not resetting his hands to avoid holding can be corrected.  What you are left with is a total body of work that shows a guy that dominates his opponents. Very few players have the leg drive at contact that Jake has at this age, and you can see how huge of an advantage that is in the very first play of his highlight film.  He gets no punch and looks to have a stalemate, but his legs keep driving and he ends up upending the guy and driving him to the ground.  Whether it is in space or in the trenches, those legs are churning and he is extending blocks that way.  Leg drive on contact like that is a VERY difficult thing to teach and it will give him an edge wherever he goes.

This would be my number one prospect and we should all be super excited if he pulls the trigger for the Beavers.  At 6’5 and 285-290, he is ready to go once he gets to camp.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Hanson come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 4-year starter at Offensive Tackle, maybe as a true freshman if Seumalo declares early.

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