Since East Lake (Fla.) linebacker Jake Hansen made his first-ever stop to the state of Iowa in late June for the team's Golden Ticket Day, Iowa State has been the primary contender for his commitment.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound inside linebacker from Tarpon Spring, Fla., was blown away during his visit to Ames earlier this summer, and while he recently made visits to Utah and Wake Forest, who both showed late interest, he ultimately chose to wrap up his recruitment Saturday with a commitment to the Cyclones.
“I saw some more schools and then I just decided that Iowa State was for me and compared them coaching staff wise and how I was treated,” Hansen said. “Iowa State was the way to go for me.”
Hansen, who chose Iowa State over offers from Air Force, Army, Charleston Southern, Florida Atlantic and Florida International, thought things over following his visits to the two other Power 5 schools and then called Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads to announce his decision.
"When I committed they said, ‘Welcome to the family.’ It’s the Cyclone family," Hansen said. "The fan base is so cool too just because there are so many people that just support it so much that reach out to you that you don’t even know, but they’ll still want to talk to you and stuff like that. So it’s really cool."
In Hansen, Iowa State adds a tough, physical linebacker who coaches project will be an inside linebacker at the next level. Hansen broke his hand at the start of his junior season last fall and played with a cast for four weeks for powerhouse East Lake, tallying 111 tackles entering the team’s first playoff appearance.
Hansen is focused on his speed and agility entering his senior season, but Scout.com Florida analyst Corey Bender said Iowa State might have found an underrated gem.
“The Florida native is a well-rounded linebacker who makes an impact in both the run and pass for coach Bob Hudson and the Eagles,” Bender said. “He's fundamentally sound and does a good job of diagnosing and attacking at the linebacker position. I really like this get for the Cyclones.”
Hansen is the son of former BYU linebacker Shad Hansen, who racked up 407 career tackles in four seasons for the Cougars. Shad didn’t push his son in a direction during his recruitment, but did help him along the path.
“He’s coached me and helped me in the right direction to make sure I was doing things that would push me ahead of the game and the competition,” Hansen said. “He helped me read into what coaches were telling me or talking to me about based on how they treated me and his perspective of everything. It was helpful because he has some good experience with that kind of stuff.”
Hansen hopes to take an unofficial and official visit to Iowa State this season.
“It’s very exciting,” Hansen said of his commitment. “It’s like one of those dreams you kind of fulfill because you always watch Saturdays and college football and it’s cool to think that you’re going to be playing on that stage.”