February 14, 2013

Spartans taking serious look at Illinois OL

One of the fastest rising offensive line prospects in the Midwest this winter is Blake Hance of Jacksonville High School in Illinois. SpartanMag.com was able to catch-up with the 6-foot-6, 260-pound prospect and got the details on his recruitment and his thoughts on Michigan State.

A few weeks ago Michigan State held a junior day for some of the top prospects they are looking at for the class of 2014. One of the players in attendance was Hance. Rivals.com list Hance as a tight end, but BCS teams see him gaining additional size once he hits the college weight room and sliding down to tackle. We spoke with Hance about his recruitment and the teams that are showing him a significant amount of interest.

"So far NC State, Mizzou, Wyoming, and, as of today, Illinois have offered me," Hance said. "Other schools showing a lot of interest are Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and Oklahoma mainly. I'm visiting Indiana on Saturday. I play tight end now but most of my interest and offers are for offensive line. Coaches really like my size and athleticism for a big guy. "
It is very possible that the Hoosiers will become the 5th teams to extend him a scholarship.
No position may be more important for Michigan State when it comes to this class than the offensive line position. The Spartan only signed 1 offensive lineman in the class of 2013 and are expected to take probably 4 in the class of 2014. We asked Hance about his time in East Lansing and his thought on Michigan State University
"I've been in contact with Coach Roushar and Coach Staten some and I went to Michigan State Junior Day on January 13th. I definitely like Michigan State a lot- great campus, facilities, coaching staff, and history. I really hope that sometime I can earn an offer from the Spartans too!"
Michigan State is not known for being a team that extends a lot to early offers, especially when it comes to projecting a player at a position he does not have film for. With that in mind, we expect the staff to keep a close eye on the camp and combine scene this spring and look to have him at the 1-Day Elite Player Camp. Last year lineman like Dennis Finley and Demetrius Cooper earned offers due to strong camp performance in front of the Michigan State staff.

Hance understands how the recruiting process works and he is anxious to learn more about all of the schools that are showing him a significant amount of interest. Like many recruits he wants to make an informed decision which will provide him with the best all-around experience at the next level

"Some things I think about when it comes to colleges is winning, playing, education, coaching staff, fan base, etc… All of those things are very important to me," he stated.

The state of Michigan does not have the crop of offensive line talent that it had in 2013 and for that reason we fully expect the staff to look to places like Illinois and Ohio to address this position. Hance is a lot like current two-year starting offensive tackle Dan France in that he will not have played the position he projects at in high school.

To see video of Hance in action, click the link below. His highlight film shows just how versatile an athlete he is for a player his size.


Matt Dorsey's Take: Watching Hance's highlight film he reminds me a lot of Reid Fragel. Fragel probably should have been moved to OT earlier in his career than he was. The fact that Hance understands his greatest potential to excel at the next level and beyond is at offensive tackle is a positive in his recruitment.

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