All along Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe Rivals250 quarterback Justice Hansen knew that Oklahoma was going to be involved in his decision but he never knew that Texas A&M was going to make his decision such a difficult one. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback made his commitment to Oklahoma on Saturday but had spent the past few weeks trying to make his choice between Norman and College Station.
And though he always knew he'd look around before making any final choice, he admits that some time ago it wasn't A&M that he thought would push the Sooners to the brink.
" A year ago, there are other teams that I kept my eye on so that wouldn't have surprised me but A&M, a lot of people didn't know what to expect and how they finished and how they recruited me, I liked A&M a lot," Hansen admitted.
"When it came time to do decide, I was at the point where I was pretty comfortable with Oklahoma and felt like that wasn't ever going to change, so I just decided I'm going to commit to Oklahoma above Texas A&M."
Previous conversations with Hansen had left a feeling that he would like to announce whatever decision he came to at either the Aggies or Sooners spring game; games that were taking place on the same day. Not surprisingly rumors of his travel to both began to run rampant late in the week.
The most notable rumor was one that later proved to be true, Hansen was checked out of school on Friday morning. The early hour of which was believed to be a sign he'd be travelling to College Station.
Hansen has long been 'the next big thing' and with that has carried expectation and attention for much of his high school career. And while many would have found the private intrusion a bit concerning, Hansen says for him it was just the opposite.
"After a while, I think it will feel pretty creepy," he laughed about the level of attention. "But you know the week leading up to this last Saturday it was the first time I really sat down and realized people really did care where I went, you know? Hearing stuff like that, it really makes me thankful, I really appreciate that stuff. It means that I mean something to them."
And while the decision wasn't public until Saturday Sooners offensive coordinator, and Hansen's lead recruiter, Josh Heupel had an inkling that Oklahoma was in a good situation.
"I think on Thursday or something I told coach Heupel that I would probably be there, and I think he was the only one that knew, but on Saturday I think coach Heupel mentioned to the coaches," he said. "Me, my mom, and my dad, and my brother went into coach Stoops' office with coach Heupel and that's when I committed.
"(Stoops) was real happy actually. That was nice to see coach Stoops, the head coach he jumped up you know and shook my hand and gave me something of a hug."
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A big part of Hansen's timing of choice was laid within his desire to begin to help the recruiting effort of whatever school he chose, a hope he brought to life when he helped reel in fellow Rivals250 standout Dallis Todd. He says he'd taken a long look at the list of visitors expected in Norman and zoned in on Todd as a potential future battery mate.
"It was great, I talked to a few players previously, a few weeks ago, but at that point it's so hard to recruit somebody when you don't know where you're going. I think it's easy to help, and get somebody else to get there with you," he said. "Saturday with me being committed and talk to recruits it gave me a chance to really try and start to open them up to the idea.
"The night before the spring game, I knew was committing to OU so I was looking at some people who were going to be there. I saw (Todd) talking to coach Heupel and coach Stoops but you never know how guys are going to be," he said. "You know how that goes some guys they are a big dog and kind of act that way and stuff.
"But Dallis was nothing like that, coach Heupel, and coach (Jay) Norvell introduced him to me and we talked pretty much the entire day and then afterward me and my family were running out to dinner and we invited him. We had a good talk and everything.
"I wouldn't give me all the credit on that one, I think he may have committed all ready."