One of the seniors Hansen has had the privilege to coach is five-star running back Savon Huggins. Huggins recently released a top 10 list that included Penn State. In a FightOnState.com exclusive, Hansen shared his thoughts on Huggins both on and off the field.
This is the first two of our exclusive interview with one of the real good guys of prep football, St. Peter's Prep's head coach Rich Hansen.
FOS: What improvements are you looking for Savon to make this off-season, heading into his senior year – things such as pass catching, blocking, footwork and what are you doing to help him improve?
Hansen: Well we've focused on different aspects of his game each year since he's been with us. As a freshman he needed to understand how important the physicality of the position was - running recklessly even when dinged up.... he mastered that concept. As a sophomore we worked on his pass catching ability - trying to get him the ball in space via the pass... he really has worked to have excellent pass catching ability.
Going into junior year we focused on body leanness and faster feet in the hole, something his position coach, Paul Que felt strongly about - he really exploded in terms of development of those attributes. This season we've worked on his body strength, especially lower body, and have concentrated on refining all of those other improvements. I'm very excited to see him put it all together for his senior year.
Hansen: I think Savon's greatest attribute is his ability to raise the level of play of his teammates. His competitiveness and ferocity are infectious. Our guys feed off one another and especially off of Savon's fire. He's a leader by example to begin with - work ethic, attitude, competitiveness, then add in the fact that he's done it on the field against everyone and you have a player that just commands respect. That respect is as much for the type of person he is as it is for him as a player.
FOS: One thing not talked about with Savon is his leadership. He really sets an example in the classroom and on the field, doesn't he? Here he is Savon Huggins – an All-American caliber player and an honor roll student.
Hansen: Here's the key to his persona - with all the attention and accolades, his biggest goal right now is to win a state title. Not his college choice or All-American status, but for his team to win the title. It's genuine and he's on a mission to see it through. That is truly admirable.