Tom Hansen, a (6-2, 225 pounds) linebacker from Sheldon High School, Rancho Murieta (CA) is being recruiter by the top programs from across the country and has received his first offer. Does Hansen have any interest in Notre Dame? Is he being recruited by the Irish?
After I introduce myself to the recruit, the first question I generally ask is what schools are recruiting him. Now, I knew Tom Hansen was being recruited by some of the top schools in the country so it didn't surprise me when he listed the schools that were sending him mail.
"I'm getting mail from a lot of places, but I'm getting the most from Northwestern, Cal, Notre Dame, USC, Michigan and UCLA" said Hansen. "I'm getting stuff from all over really. Northwestern just offered me."
As I said, his response didn't really surprise me. With big time recruits you expect that, just as you expect gaudy statistics.
"I had 30 solo tackles, 39 total tackles and 3 fumble recoveries" said Hansen. "That was about two and a half games. Halfway through our third game I sprained my ankle pretty bad and ended up missing the rest of the season."
Hold on. While 39 tackles in two and a half games is impressive, they aren't the type of statistics that jump out at you. So I asked Tom, why are big time football programs recruiting him so heavily?
"Well, last year as a sophomore, I had the 11th best SPARQ rating in the nation for everyone that went to the Nike Combines" responded Hansen. "I think I have a shot at breaking the all-time record this year."
SPARQ stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. An athlete's rating is derived from a formula using the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, 20-yard shuttle, and bench. For Hansen to have scored the 11th best overall score in the nation as a sophomore is incredible, and certainly explains why colleges are eager to get the attention of Hansen.
"Most schools are recruiting me at strong side linebacker," Hansen added.
The question now is whether the Irish have a chance of landing Hansen.
"I'm very interested in Notre Dame. My uncle is a huge ND fan," explained Hansen. "It's been a dream of mine to play for Notre Dame."
"I actually own Rudy on DVD and VHS. The VHS version wasn't good enough so I went out and grabbed the DVD version."
I asked whether his parents had a favorite.
"They like Cal, Stanford and Notre Dame, because of the academics," explained Hansen." If I went away from the west coast, my parents would really want it to be Notre Dame, but they'd support me with any decision."
I asked Hansen if he planned to take all his visits, or if he'd make an early decision.
"I've only spoken to the Northwestern coaches. I called them because since they offered," said Hansen. "I can't take any visits until next school year, so there really isn't much sense in making an early decision. But an offer from ND would be very difficult to turn down -- as would an offer from Cal and Stanford."
Hansen said that he planned to attend the Fresno St camp with the Sheldon squad, and he would also attend the Cal camp.
He recently took the SAT, and reports a 3.2 core G.P.A.
Comments: Hansen will continue to be recruited by all the top programs. He sounded very confident that his combine numbers would be better this year. If he duplicates last year's Nike camp performance this year, expect the offers to flow in. He likes Notre Dame a lot. Notre Dame hasn't offered, but they are interested. Irish Eyes will follow this situation as it develops.