Hance's Versatility in Demand

Jacksonville's Blake Hance has been traditionally listed as a TE, sometimes projected as an OT, and is even getting recruited at yet another position.

Blake Hance is one of the more intriguing prospects in the Land of Lincoln. The Jacksonville, IL athlete has seen his recruitment really take off as of late, and this weekend he took a visit to in-state school Illinois.

"It was great!" Hance said. "I love the new additions to the coaching staff. Also the intensity and passion at practice was awesome. I liked it in champaign a lot. I saw the campus for the first time as well and that was great"

Hance has played and worked out as a tight end in the past, has the tools to be a great offensive lineman, but Illinois sees potential in him to play a slightly different role.

"Well Actually Illinois wants me as a D lineman, so I spent a lot of time with Coach Colby and got a chance to sit in on the D line meeting before practice," he said. "Coach Colby is a great coach."

Hance's skills can translate to both sides of the ball, but he sees Illinois' reasoning for recruiting him on the defensive side of the ball.

"They said either DE or a 3 technique tackle. I play both on my high school team so I think I'd be a good fit either way," Hance said. "I know they're trying to get more height on their D line right now."

Hance has followed Illinois football growing up, but after seeing a practice, something about this newest group of coaches seems different to him.

"I just really love the experience, knowledge, and passion of the newer guys, along with the coaches that have been there," he said. "I definitely think especially once they get going a little more and have a little more time together things will really start to click."

Hance hasn't set a hard schedule for his decision, but he would prefer to get it out of the way before his senior season if he feels comfortable making that call.

"I'm sort of planning on and hoping to make an earlier decision," Hance said. "I'm trying to not set a certain timeframe though, and just plan on deciding when I think a place feels perfect to me. I've been taking a ton of visits and keep taking more. I'm really trying to get a good feel for everywhere. Hopefully sometime in spring or summer I will know."

A lot of schools will enter the race for Hance, but according to Hance, Illinois has already put themselves solidly in contention for him til the end.

He said, "I definitely think they will be one of the top few throughout the whole thing."

Illini Inquirer Top Stories