July 25, 2012

Hanks names UW one of his favorites

Living in Colorado while being recruited by the University of Wyoming has given Fort Collins linebacker prospect, Jake Hanks, a few more recruiting calls than one might expect. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Hanks said he is hearing sales pitches from commits from both sides of the Border War.

"I met Tanner Gentry at a camp and he has committed to Wyoming," Hanks said. "It was cool to talk to him about why he committed. He just said it was the coaching staff, which I agreed with and he really liked the facilities up there.

"I have a couple other guys I went to camps with who are committed to CSU and they have Facebooked me," Hanks continued. "It's cool to get their perspective. I sort of expected this would happen."

Hanks has become something of a big name in Front Range recruiting thanks to his athletic ability, which has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He also claims a squat of 451 pounds and a bench press of 329.

Last season Hanks went down with a shoulder injury five games into the season, but that did not stop him from picking up 276 yards on 45 carries (6.5 yards per carry) on the ground and three scores on offense. Defensively, he recorded 34 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.

Thus far Hanks has received scholarship offers from Wyoming, Air Force, Tulsa and Northern Colorado. Among the leaders for Hanks' services currently are Wyoming and Tulsa.

"I am keeping in contact with (Wyoming Offensive Coordinator Gregg) Brandon. They said they signed another linebacker in-state. They are real excited about me and said I could definitely play on special teams as a freshman and could compete for a spot at linebacker.

"I think I am going to go to Laramie for a couple games," he said. "I just want to see how they compete and win. I really want to go to a program that is winning. I think the coaching staff I have been in contact with the most is Wyoming, but I haven't seen enough about Tulsa. I want to check them out again this year."

Hanks earned his scholarship offers after strong camp performances at Tulsa and Laramie and will show off his skills this weekend for the hometown Colorado State Rams, who have yet to offer.

Hanks said the new staff at CSU contacted him a couple weeks ago and offered a tour of the facilities. He said the Rams told him they see him playing their "buck," position and they would be interested in talking scholarship after camp this weekend.

"I just want to go out there and show the local team what I can do," Hanks said. "I have lived in Fort Collins all my life. I took a tour last week, so it was cool to see the facilities and stuff."

Hanks said if the Rams offer he is unlikely to give his commitment, still stinging from the lack of attention early from the hometown team.

"If they were the first team that offered, I would have said yes (I would commit), but now that it is late in the game, I will have a decision to make after the camp," Hanks said.

Another local team that has offered a scholarship is the Air Force Falcons. Hanks said he got a call from Falcon coach Troy Calhoun after going to an Air Force camp.

"I went to their camp and a week later the head coach called and said they have an offer for me at linebacker," he said. "I think it is an option for a school, but it is not a definite yes or no just because of the extra stuff. It is a pretty good opportunity."

For now, Hanks said he is just trying to put together a list of criteria he is looking for in his next stop and will soon turn his focus to his own high school football season.

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