Top Texas running back rethinking things

It has been reported that running back Russell Hansbrough had a top two in Auburn and TCU, but apparently one of Texas's top running back is now rethinking that position. With 14 offers on the table, Hansbrough is aiming to take a more methodical approach to the recruiting process.

When it comes to running the ball, Bowie High School speedster Russell Hansbrough knows all about it.

"I'm a physical running back that can either run past you or run over you, it doesn't matter," Hansbrough said. "I feel I have really good speed and can move really well. I can catch the ball out of the backfield, and my coaches tell me I'm very versatile and can play wide receiver too."

Bowie High School runs a spread offense and uses the talents of Hansbrough to the fullest. At 5 feet 8 inches and 185 pounds, running the ball is no problem for Hansbrough, but what about pass protection and catching in the passing game?

"We run the spread, so I have to block because we pass the ball a lot too," Hansbrough said. "Me and my linemen have to go through our pass-pros before and after a game. That's something we're constantly working on all the time and try to get it straight so our quarterback can have time to throw the ball."

After putting up 780 yards rushing on 77 carries and scoring 12 touchdowns his sophomore season, Hansbrough continued his success as a junior.

"I had, I think, 950 yards rushing on 130 carries," said Hansbrough. "I also had, I think, 20 catches for 200 yards. I also ran for five touchdowns as well."

Although Hansbrough may not have great size, don't let the size fool you. He's as strong as a bull and is as quick as a cat.

"My bench is 295 and my squat is 500," he said. "My forty time is around a 4.46 and my shuttle is a 4.0 flat and my vertical is 33."

Hansbrough currently has 14 offers on the table.

"This spring I got three new offers. I got one from Minnesota, Arizona State and Indiana. I also got offers from Iowa State, Auburn, TCU, SMU, BYU and Baylor. I also got some others as well."

His other offers are from Washington State, Missouri, Kansas State, Kansas and Houston. So what is the Texas running back looking for at the next level?

"I'm just keeping it open right now," Hansbrough said. "I've been talking to my coach right now and he and my dad are helping me through this process right now. I'm going to take visits and things like that."

The sport of football is considered a religion in the South, but Hansbrough does participate in traditional religion.

"I'm a Christian and I'm a strong believer in faith," Hansbrough said. "I would love to be around people who believe in God like me and take everything serious about religion. It's important to me."

When it comes to college, Hansbrough wants to go to a school where he'll feel comfortable given his standards.

"I just want to research the schools and see how well they graduate the players and stuff like that, because education and church comes first," he said. "It comes first before anything, even before football."

Hansbrough has offers from multiple religious-based schools in BYU, TCU, Baylor and SMU. One of his friends and former teammates, meanwhile, has committed to TCU.

"My quarterback [Kolby Listenbee], he's going to TCU and he's a Christian too and a strong believer in God," Hansbrough said. "We go to church together sometimes. He goes to a different church than I go to but we go together sometimes, and before every game me and him would pray together."

As for BYU, Hansbrough has been in contact with one of the new Cougar coaches.

"BYU, I met their coach [Joe DuPaix] and he came down to our school," Hansbrough said. "He said I would be great in their offense. I've been talking to him and I got a message from him and I've been trying to contact him."

Hansbrough mentioned he liked the message he heard from Coach DuPaix.

"Their coach, when he came down here, said I would be a very good back and their best back if I did come," he said. "He said I would probably have the chance to start if I did go to BYU my freshman year. I really liked that."

Coach DuPaix also educated Hansbrough about BYU.

"He talked to me about the standards and the policies down there at BYU, because it's a Mormon school," Hansbrough said. "I thought he was pretty cool and he seemed like a fun guy. I respect him a lot."

In the meantime, Hansbrough will take it slow, weigh his options, and make a decision when he feels he's ready. Until then, he'll keep on running while keeping the faith and see where it takes him.

"It gets a little overwhelming at times, but I just keep my faith in God," he said. "I'll just pray about it and whatever goes, goes."

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