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Northwestern Signing Day 2014 Player Capsules: Blake Hance

The Basics

School: Jacksonville (IL)
Position: OL
Height/Weight: 6-foot-6/265 pounds
Stars: 3
Other offers: Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, NC State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Wyoming
247 Profile
Twitter: @blake_hance

What You Should Know

Hance is a tight end by trade, but Northwestern hopes to convert him and his massive frame to the offensive line. Given his roots at tight end, Hance is pretty athletic, and that's what the Wildcats like: their zone blocking scheme is conducive to linemen who can move well.

Hance isn't just a tight end convert that the staff decided to take a chance on. He's a legitimate major conference player who had offers from traditionally "bigger-name" schools like Missouri and Nebraska, and from in-state rival Illinois. This didn't even seem like a close decision, either. In the past, NU has had to be the first team to offer to even have a chance with a player like Hance. However, Hance was waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for the Wildcats to offer to the point that he was worried other schools would move on without him.

However, NU's coaches came through with an offer after watching Hance work out, and he gave the them his commitment.

The Wildcats' two offensive tackle recruits this year — Hance and Tommy Doles — are both very agile and both turned down bigger programs. It's a small class, but both of them figure to have a chance to contribute down the road.

Quotable

“Honestly it was kind of my favorite all around,” Hance told InsideNU. “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.”