July 19, 2011

Hansley sees three stand out

With summer recruiting slowing down with the anticipation of the return of football to campuses nationwide early next month, Highlands Ranch athlete Joe Hansley has three schools emerging as favorites in the battle for his services.

Last season the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Hansley posted nearly 1,000 yards of total offense for Highlands Ranch, scoring 15 touchdowns and averaging 9.9 yards per carry as a running back. This season he said he will see time at running back, slot receiver and cornerback. He is projected to play slot in college.

This summer he attended camps at Colorado State, Colorado, Northwestern and Wyoming and also holds an offer from Northern Colorado. He said the Rams, Cowboys, Wildcats and Buffs are setting themselves apart from the rest. He said Colorado State and Wyoming want him to play slot, but the rest of his potential suitors see him as a wideout. He broke down the list of recruiting favorites for Goldandgreennews.com.

"I like Wyoming's offense," Hansley said. "Coach Christensen came from Missouri, so they are running the spread. I went up there for a camp and their coaches are cool guys. Just the atmosphere. They have a lot to offer, but the main thing with Wyoming is their offense and how I fit into that (slot).

"I like Colorado State - it is close to home," he said. "My dad really wants to watch me play, so that would be easy to him. I like the coaches there - the receivers coach (Dan Hammerschmidt) is a really cool guy and I have a good relationship with him. I've just always liked Colorado State."

Hansley said Colorado has yet to offer him a scholarship but he likes the conference the play in and the big-school feel of the Pac-12.

Finally, the Northwestern Wildcats have opened his eyes thanks to a visit to Evanston. Hansley said he is impressed with the coaching staff and it starts at the top.

"Coach Fitzgerald is an awesome guy," Hansley said. "He really relates to the players and is a good coach. Their atmosphere is awesome too. They pride themselves on beating teams by out-working them. I think they have one receiver committed right now and some more offers out to other receivers. When I talked to their offensive coordinator, he said (an offer) depends on where the other kids commit and then they will get my name on the list."

Northwestern would be the next step in the long line of playing football in the Big 10 Conference for the Hansley family. Joe's father played for Indiana and his grandfather played at Ohio State.

The next step for Hansley in the recruiting process is to get to the schools on gameday.

"I think it matters a lot," Hansley said about the gameday experience. "I am big into the atmosphere on gameday. How the players are, how the coaches are, the enthusiasm and the football atmosphere. Just seeing how it is on gameday will be big for me."

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