November 27, 2012

Hanks ready for Wyoming visit

As the Wyoming Cowboys ready for a busy weekend of football recruiting visits, one of their top targets will take the short drive from Fort Collins to Laramie. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound outside linebacker, Jake Hanks said he will be on campus this weekend and hopes to see what life is like off-the-field for a Cowboy football player.

"I am just looking forward to being around the team and seeing what they do after the season is over," Hanks said.

Hanks is coming off a seaon in which he was named All-Colorado by ROOT Sports, as well as First Team All-Conference for his work as a defensive end and a fullback. Hanks was credited with 61 stops and 6.5 sacks defensively and 348 yards on the ground. For his efforts, he has been offered scholarships at Northern Colorado, Air Force, Wyoming and Tulsa.

This weekend will be the second time Hanks has been to Laramie this fall, with the first coming in November for the Border War.

"I got up to the Border War, but I have followed Wyoming pretty closely this year," Hanks said. "I liked it (the visit). It was pretty cool and it was good to see them get the win over CSU. It was my first CSU-Wyoming game.

"The biggest thing from being there in-person I got to see what they do defensively," he said. "I got to see how they play their linebackers and I thought it was pretty cool."

Hanks said he is being told by the Wyoming coaches there will be open slots at starting linebacker next year that he could compete for and he will likely see special teams time early in his career. He said this time he is hoping to get some time to talk with coaches and players and understand what it is to be a student-athlete at Wyoming.

"I would like to spend more time with the coaches and get a feel for what the guys on the team are like," Hanks said. "I don't think I got that the first time I was there."

Wyoming will be Hanks's second official visit of the year, with the first coming to Tulsa last month.

"I took a visit to Tulsa and I liked it a lot," Hanks said. "I really liked the coaches and I really really enjoyed it. They brought me in during the season. Friday I hung out with guys on the team, Saturday was the gameday experience. I was glad I could do that."

Despite taking visits to his top two choices, Hanks said he is going to keep his options open past this weekend and wait to see if any other schools offer him the opportunity to visit.

"I want to wait on the decision a little later," Hanks said. "I want to make it around Jan. "For me to commit this weekend, something would have to just really click. They would have to impress me more than Tulsa or any other school has been able to so far."

Joining Hanks from Colorado this weekend will be a trio of future Centennial State Cowboys who have already committed to Wyoming. Among them are Lakewood tackle Taylor Knestis, James Diamanti of Grand Junction and Colorado Springs defensive lineman Dalton Fields. Hanks said the Colorao contingent has been in contact and is trying to turn his attention to the Cowboys.

"I've talked to both of them (Fields and Diamanti) and I played against the kid from Lakewood," Hanks said. "They said with all the recruits that are committing we could build a good team up there. They are trying to sway me in that direction."

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