As a sophomore, Hansen took some shots that would have made most young signal-callers fold up their tent and go home. As a junior, the expectations were so high for someone who was already being told he was the future for the Sooners.
"Nothing gets to him," Manning said. "He's the same kid he was last year. He's just bigger, smarter and ready to go."
And Hansen is ready to go for his senior season debut Thursday night against Midwest City (Okla.) High at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Midwest City has been a great barometer for Hansen. Two years ago the Bombers frustrated him and forced him into bad decisions in a loss. Last year it was Hansen accounting for seven touchdowns to start the season in a road victory.
Hansen has seen limited time during Edmond Santa Fe's two scrimmages because of a hamstring injury but also because Manning has wanted to get Class of 2016 quarterback Keaton Torre some reps against quality competition.
That ends Thursday as Hansen will be back and running the show. It will be his first game as an official OU commit.
Other names to watch
Edmond Santa Fe running back/linebacker Michael Farmer (Class of 2014): All the offseason drama is done for Farmer, who transferred to Edmond Santa Fe from Edmond North. Farmer made an unofficial visit to OU last weekend where he said OU running backs coach Cale Gundy said he hopes Farmer can make it back again.
Edmond Santa Fe offensive guard J.R. Hensley (Class of 2015): Quickly rising up the ranks among in-state recruits, Hensley made his first unofficial visit to OU last weekend. Had a banner summer camping at various SEC and Big 12 schools and is a second-year starter.
Edmond Santa Fe cornerback Ashton Preston (Class of 2015): Might be the most intriguing Wolves' prospect to watch Thursday. It will be the first time he will be in the limelight. Following a grueling summer, how will he respond to the challenge?
Midwest City running back/cornerback Roscoe Gatewood (Class of 2015): Gatewood caught the attention of OU coaches back at the summer camp, and he made an unofficial visit to campus last weekend. This should be a breakout season for Gatewood.
Midwest City safety Will Sunderland (Class of 2015): Is this the night he gets an OU offer? The talk has been OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops wants to see Sunderland in action and will then extend the offer. Sunderland has landed in the Scout 300 because of his camp performances. Now he'll have to show why on the field.