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Signing Day Spotlight: Jake Hansen

The letter is in for Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake LB Jake Hansen. Here's a look at the new Illinois signee.

Commitment Date: 1/18/2016

Twitter Handle: @Jakehansen35

Why Illinois?

Hansen, a one-time Iowa State commit, couldn't have come at a much better time for Illinois.  Linebacker depth took a huge hit this offseason due to a number of transfers, but Hansen seems to have an opportunity to make a contribution early, whether that be on defense or special teams.

Illinois was able to sell him on his official visit, and he committed shortly thereafter, opting for the Illini following his departure from Iowa State after their coaching change.


Hansen is a fundamentally instinctive linebacker who resembles former Illini linebacker Mason Monheim in a lot of ways, but possesses slightly better athleticism.  It remains to be seen how much of his quickness and agility he maintains once adding the weight required to handle the physicality of the Big Ten, but Hansen has the right base qualities to handle the challenges ahead.

On film, Hansen, a middle linebacker in high school, reacts well to run plays and rarely makes a bad gap read.  He will need to add some strength to be able to more effectively stop running backs at the college level, but improvement in strength is much easier to achieve than development of instinct.


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