Hance refuses to let NU opportunity slide

3-star offensive tackle Blake Hance knew that Northwestern would evaluate other linemen. With one spot remaining up front, he wasn't willing to take any chances: NU was the school he loved.

Northwestern was more than the offer Blake Hance was waiting for. It was the decision he simply couldn't pass up.

The 6-5 offensive tackle from Jacksonville (Ill.) was not exactly near his final call when Purple Wildcats spoke with him yesterday. He offered a vague timeline, knowing that he loved Northwestern. Still, other schools figured into the picture.

At some point, though, Hance learned that the Northwestern coaching staff was evaluating other targets. Though he was the number one option–and the only current O-line offer–the group had to play it safe.

Hance then sat down with his family and girlfriend. He called his high school coach and talked it over, before reaching his decision.

"I wasn't going to miss that opportunity," Hance said.

He called Adam Cushing and Pat Fitzgerald at around 10 p.m. and told them to reserve his place. In this 2014 class, no one can wait to sign with NU.

"It's a great campus and a great city," Hance said. "And I know this recruiting class is really taking off."

So it is. There was one spot left on that line, and the desirable target who held offers from Nebraska and Missouri committed—virtually on the spot.

"I've kind of known all along," Hance said. "I kind of fell in love."

Speaking of which, his girlfriend–who goes to Loyola University Chicago–embraced the decision. Staying home has its own appeal.

It's a mad dash to the finish line for this recruiting class. With 10 members locked up–making it one of the largest classes in the country–there are only so many spots available. Hance refused to lose out on his.

Everything was pushed slightly forward, but in the end, it'll all pay off. Hance joins the rising program, like so many others have. And after his senior season, he's anxious to take the field and win championships.

"The football is tremendous right now," Hance said. "We're looking to keep that going."

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