Ever since he visited Northwestern last July, 2014 offensive line commit Blake Hance played the waiting game. He waited through offers from Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois and others, waiting for that elusive Northwestern offer. Finally, it came on Tuesday.
"Recently I was starting to get there where I felt like I didn't want to wait to long and miss out on opportunities," he said. "It was definitely getting frustrating, but Coach (Adam) Cushing and Coach (Bob) Heffner came and watched me work out after school, and I felt really, really good about the workout and I guess they did too, because 10 minutes after I left the workout, they told me to call (and extended an offer)."
After months of waiting, Hance needed just one day to make his decision.
"Honestly it was kind of my favorite all around," he said. "It was basically my first real visit I took, back in July. I loved it; I loved everything about it, and every time I went back it got even better. So throughout the process I found myself comparing myself to Northwestern, so when they offered, I kind of jumped on it."
NU's coaches never doubted Hance's abilities as an athlete, but they waited for so long to offer because they wanted him as an offensive lineman and had never seen him play offensive line. Hance is a tight end by trade, and many schools were recruiting him to be one in college, as well. However, he told InsideNU yesterday that it wasn't a big deal to switch to offensive line and reaffirmed that with his commitment today. But because of the position switch and NU's lack of space for offensive linemen in this class — Hance and Tommy Doles are the only ones the Wildcats will take in 2014 — Hance understood why the process took so long.
"The were only taking two offensive linemen and that I've never played offensive line before, and that's what they wanted me as," he said. "But I completely understand that it took them longer than other schools and I respect that they went throughout the process, and I'm glad I stuck throughout the process too."
Though Hance will have to take some time to adjust to his new position and put some weight on, he fits the Wildcats' offensive line philosophy quite well. NU likes to recruit athletic offensive linemen, not big guys who struggle to move. That makes sense, considering how much zone blocking the offense employs.
"I think with my athleticism, I think I'll be able to transition into (offensive line) pretty well," he said, "They said that they do a lot of zones and a lot of pulling and stuff like that, so I think my athleticism, and hopefully I can build the strength, and I think that will work out pretty well."
School: Jacksonville (IL)
Other offers: Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, NC State, Northern Illinois, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Western Michigan, Wyoming
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