"We have a lot of depth on this line," said Hanson of the Duck offensive line. "A lot of younger guys have stepped up; older guys too."
That's really good news for Duck fans because the last time fans saw the Ducks in an actual game was the Alamo Bowl, and in the second half of that game, disaster struck the center position. Starter Matt Hegarty was knocked out of the game and seldom used back up Doug Brenner was thrown into the game without the benefit of a lot of practice repetitions. The result saw horrible exchanges between Brenner and back up quarterback Jeff Lockie. The snaps were so bad that at different points the ball either never arrived in Lockie's hands so that he could initiate the play, or sailed over his head causing him to scramble just to recover the ball.
It was a nightmare.
That's all over now.
Last spring, Hanson took the job over and immediately made an impact.
His coach, Steve Greatwood and head coach Mark Helfrich favorably compared Hanson to couple of former centers who were great in their time as Ducks and continue to be so in the NFL in the form of Max Unger of the New Orleans Saints and Hroniss Grasu of the Chicago Bears.
That's quite a comparison.
Talking to Hanson, a person gets the feeling this guy (Hanson) is the total package. He stands 6-5 and weighs 288. There is no excess body fat on this man.
Even more striking is his demeanor. He is rather quiet, but teammates like offensive tackle Cam Hunt says Hanson is "calm, but carries himself as a veteran."
That's an important statement when a senior says that about a redshirt freshman who will make his first appearance in a game on Sept. 3, when the Ducks take on Cal-Davis in Autzen Stadium.
The center of course is the foreman of the line. He is constantly alert to the action on the field, even before the ball is snapped; and Hanson isn't afraid of reminding the other players of the need to stay awake and be ready.
Plus there is that matter of having a little bit of a nasty streak. That's good when it comes to big strong offensive linemen because it means they won't get pushed around.
Finally, the Ducks have been known over the last few years as a team that operates the offense flawlessly, and unfortunately last year there were some road bumps. That situation seems to be remedied, at least according to Hanson who thinks this team will regain that machine-like execution which is going to make Duck fans very happy and opponents not so much.null