There is projection with every recruit, but some a lot more than others. Linebacker Aaron Hansford is a prospect where projection is everything.
I don’t need to see him at a camp to know he is a great athlete and looks like he can be the prototype outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. With limited film, though, I also can’t see a lot of things he can do well now with the pads on either. Even without the film, he athletically projects in the upper tier at his position for the next level and that’s why schools like Ohio State, Penn State, and Notre Dame have all offered him a scholarship.
He is a big time athlete at the position. He is fluid in his movement and has great speed. He also is a standout in track as well. He has great length for the position and although he is slim right now, he should be able to hand significant weight once he concentrates on football full time.
What makes Hansford unique for an outside linebacker prospect is that he shows big play speed on offense where he can make plays after the catch as a receiver and even returned a kick to the house. There just aren’t too many other linebacker prospects that also have that ability with the ball in their hands.
The brief film I saw of him on defense he shows physicality as a tackler and the ability to track down players in the open field very well. I saw him flash as a blitzer and show potential as a pass rusher off the edge with his great speed. I also saw him react well as an athlete in coverage. He can stick his foot in the ground and explode when pursuing the football.
Those are just flashes, though. I didn’t get to see consistency because there just isn’t enough film. Does he have the recognition skills to play inside? Is he strictly a nickel linebacker who has to play out of the box? Can he take on and shed blocks well?
Those are questions I don’t have answer to with the film that is available for him.
This is really tough to say with the lack of film, but Sam linebacker seems like a great fit for him in a 4-3 scheme if he is not asked to play on the line and is more out of the box.
Athletically his potential is very high. He is right up there with some other top outside linebackers in this class. Programs are taking a bet on him by offering and assuming they will be able to teach him the recognition skills needed and the rest of the technique that is necessary to play the linebacker position at the college level. It’s a risk worth taking, though, because he is the kind of athlete could be an all-conference level player if he puts it all together.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).