Braden Hanson Excited About Mizzou

Thousands upon thousands of college football fans and recruiting diehards were watching closely as Parkway West (Mo.) star quarterback Blaine Gabbert committed to Nebraska last week, and so was Charlotte, N.C. standout signal caller Braden Hanson.

"Just from reading everything and everything I heard, I kind of thought he was Missouri's to lose," said Hanson, who appears to be the Missouri staff's No. 1 priority at quarterback. After Gabbert's announcement, "I definitely said, ‘OK, we, I'm kind of their guy. I don't think they've offered too many other guys."

Hanson, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound lefty, completed 70 percent of his passes for 2,695 yards, 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season while leading his Charlotte Latin team to a 12-1 mark and its second consecutive state private school title. He's been hearing from MU for quite a while now and received an offer back in early April, when Mizzou was still thought by many to be Gabbert's likely destination.

Days after Gabbert's commitment to NU, Mizzou recruiting coordinator Dave Yost was at Hanson's school watching him throw.

"To be fair, before he committed, Coach Yost told me he was coming to visit me. It wasn't, ‘Oh, we lost Gabbert so let's go check out Plan B. It's not really important if [people believe] that's true," said Hanson, who holds offers from MU, Kansas State, North Carolina, Duke, Rutgers, Wisconsin and Colorado.

"Coach Yost has made it clear that I'm the The Guy on their board. I'm the No. 1 guy. I knew they were very interested anyways; they were one of the first schools to mention the word ‘offer' in conversations," he continued. "I like Missouri a lot. I told Coach Yost I'm very high on them."

Hanson, who lived in Kansas City until he was eight and whose parents grew up there as well, plans to make several more visits this summer, the likeliest among them being Mizzou, Rutgers and KSU – the latter two of which offered him just this week. He'll most likely come to Columbia in early June on the way to a family vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks.

It appears, barring unexpected developments, he's unlikely to strongly consider any schools who haven't yet offered him. He and his family feel they have plenty of good options, and schools that have been recruiting him but have held out on offering – Auburn and Alabama, for instance – have had plenty of time to decide if they like him enough to make an offer.

"My family kind of sat down and decided that besides whatever schools [might offer] me in, say, the next week and a half, I'm going to focus on the offers I have. I like the offers I have because they represent a lot of different parts of the country and a lot of different [characteristics]," Hanson said.

"I'd like to make a decision early, within the next month or two," he continued. "I'm definitely going to visit if I don't commit before then, and I don't anticipate that happening but you never know. I really like Missouri. I want to really sit down and think about things a lot [during the next month or so]."

Yost has paid quite a bit of effort to explaining to Hanson all of the ins and outs of MU's program. He's more concerned with checking out the academics and the social atmosphere.

"It would be fair to say I know more about a school like UNC," Hanson said. "Coach Yost is a very, very nice guy. He helped me learn as much as possible about [Missouri]. … But I'm not going to commit anywhere before I visit."

Hanson is also intrigued by the prospects of playing in the state where he spent his formative years, though it won't be the deciding factor.

"I've kind of grown up in Charlotte, but it's definitely something to consider. Both of my parents went to Shawnee Mission South and I have lots of family here. But if I go to Missouri it won't be because my family can see me play, even though that's something that does make me feel" good, he said.

Hanson is an accurate passer who has continually improved his ability to make plays with his feet and either throw on the run or make decent gains on the ground. He joked that he's far from a track star, but at the same time, his high school team employs a system similar to MU's and his highlight tape shows him making several nice runs and bowling over or getting past oncoming defenders.

"Don't let that fool you," he said, "those were probably my only four or five runs."

"They've had some unbelievable athletes. Brad Smith, I don't know if I'd run as much as him – in fact I'm very sure I wouldn't – but they do a lot of the same things we do," Hanson said.

He added that his coach at Charlotte Latin "felt like they run the same offense as we do and that could be the best fit for me, and I kind of feel the same way."

One last note on Hanson: MU commit Andrew Jones, who has been like another assistant coach in terms of his dogged pursuit of other standout players for MU, has been texting Hanson lately. While that may not have done the trick with Gabbert, it seems safe to say MU has a good shot with Hanson.

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