Hanson Down to Five Schools

With E.J. Manuel out of the picture, the sole focus of North Carolina's recruiting efforts at quarterback now center on Braden Hanson.

"To be honest, I never really thought that [Manuel] was going to go to UNC," said Hanson, a 6-foot-6, 190-pounder from Charlotte (N.C.) Latin. "I never really felt that pressure that some kids might have felt. And now that he's committed to Florida State, it's not too shocking. But it does mean that I'm pretty much the only quarterback that [UNC] has offered.

"I really didn't make too much of it. You don't let too other many kids really effect your decision making process. I need to make my decision on what's best for me."

Additionally, the recent verbal commitments of Curt Phillips (Wisconsin) and Tyler Hansen (Colorado) will have little effect on Hanson's decision.

"I've been told in both situations that [the schools] offered me a while ago for a reason and they'd still have a spot for me," said Hanson. "Those are two schools I'm pretty high on and I'm still considering."

Hanson also admitted that he's high on UNC and that he is speaking regularly to numerous schools.

"I'm trying to narrow my focus as much as I can, but it's pretty tough," said Hanson. "There's a few good schools that I don't know how to say no to and that's the tough part."

While he's not prepared to mention any names, Hanson says the narrowing process is coming along slowly, but surely.

"I'd say there's about five schools that I've narrowed it down to," said Hanson, adding that he didn't want to disclose the names until he had a chance to notify the schools that didn't make the cut.

"A number of things [have separated those five from the rest]. I guess by visiting them and getting to know them, talking to the coaches about the school, campus, football program. Mostly visiting them is probably the only way you can know for sure, and I was able to do that with all five."

Hanson doesn't have a setting decision date, but will be aiming at the end of July as his deadline.

"I'd like to make my decision as quickly as possible, but at the same time I'm definitely not going to rush it," said Hanson. "If I really knew where I was going to go, I'd announce it today.

"[The end of July] is kind of my goal. I really would like to be able to make it no later than then."

Once a decision is reached, Hanson won't hold a press conference. Instead, he said he'll just inform his final schools of his decision.

Over the weekend Hanson participated in the Elite 11 tryout camp held in Las Vegas.

"I don't really feel like I stand out as much at these camps," said Hanson. "There's obviously some other good quarterbacks there. I think everyone has their good days. Some kids do well at these kinds of things – when they're throwing on air. I don't think I'm necessarily one of those guys.

"But hopefully I did well enough to make the Elite 11. It would be an unbelievable honor to make it. That's pretty much why I made the trip."

After months of campus visits, Hanson said he is finished with recruiting trips.

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