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April 2, 2013TweetFollow @JLMcCuistion
Many who follow recruiting will tell you that a class doesn't truly begin to take shape until it has it's quarterback. It's not an idea that Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe Rivals250 quarterback Justice Hansen is unfamiliar with as the 6-foot-3, 200-pound prospect has talked adamantly about wanting to have his decision made in the near future so that he can begin to work on helping his future coaches recruit his former teammates.
And in spite of offers from around the country that desire is soon to be met as he is now down to his final two choices, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
In an effort to decide who he'll be lending his recruiting abilities to he recently took almost consecutive trips to College Station and Norman, the trip to 'Aggieland' was his first and was an eye-opening experience.
"It was just as much excitement as you see on television. You hear everyone talking about them and its pretty much the same thing and it's not even football season. It was all real uptempo and everyone was having fun. It was business out there but practice was good," Hansen said.
Though Hansen says he didn't really get to speak with returning Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel he did spend ample time around A&M's new quarterbacks coach, Jake Spavital, and Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin.
"I like coach Spavital, he is more of a laid back coach, I really like that about him. Everyone has different personalities but it's easy to listen to someone who is calm and more laid back. That's his personality," he said.
"Coach Sumlin, I really like him, he is somewhat of a newer coach. He hasn't been around as long as some of these people, at least like a first year at A&M, how he interacts with his players, his coaches, he is real involved with everything. I like his personality a lot, he seems like he has a lot of confidence. They pick up on that, head coach is confident, has a chip on his shoulder."
"After the visit, it's right to say, OU and A&M are the two I'm still considering."
Hansen again made reference to wanting to be done with things 'soon' and though when exactly that word may match up with a calendar is a bit undetermined that's not to say that Sooners and Aggies fans will have to hold their collective breath for too long.
"I don't have a date set, it's probably not going to last as long as (the start of Santa Fe's) spring ball. OU will probably want an answer by then, so they can go visit some other quarterbacks if that's the way it goes," he said. "For me, and when it will happen - it's kind of me waking up and knowing. I just figure it has to be a place I feel confident in. It's going to be more of a feeling deal.
"When it gets down to two, it absolutely does not get easier, I just think that I've been through the whole pros and cons and I think that through my head every day - there are so many pros, it's tough to go off of that. I'm basing things off talking to my family. My family will give me some suggestions but at the end of the day it has to be the kind of thing where my family feels comfortable."
Many took it as a considerable positive for the Sooners when Hansen returned from College Station and almost immediately went to Norman, however he says that in spite of years of trips to Norman - both as a fan and as a recruit - he was trying to make an apples to apples comparison of the two programs.
"The thing was, it was different, I go to OU camps and then I go to the junior day and a couple of games. With Texas A&M, I went during the school year, was driven around the campus, got to be around the students, the student union and go to practice and all of that stuff. So to compare my school was to get to OU as fast as possible, so I could really compare."
And now that the comparison can be made?
"I can really sit there and say 'this is what I like about this school/that school'," Hansen said. "Both schools, they are somewhat similar, as a football program, they are in different places. It's really just what I truly want. In the big picture, it looks somewhat different. It's just something that I'm going to have to choose."
As the nation's No. 5 pro-style quarterback mentioned there will be a heavy family influence in his decision and though his family are professed Sooners fans they've been adamant that they simply want whatever is best for the star signal caller.
"They are my family, but if I'm really going to break it down, I love my family but if someone is going to be completely biased for a school - you respect them but it's not going to play a huge part. I've called both my uncles who coach at Shattuck, Okla. and get what they think, they are football coaches and stuff and know what a program should have," he said.
Hansen, never one to make a spectacle of himself, says that when he makes a decision the two schools may best be able to tell when he makes a trip to their campus.
"I'll probably talk to the schools and try to figure out when I can get down there. I'd like to go to the school and commit (in person)."
In Hansen's first two years as a starter he has thrown for 5,996 yards, 63-touchdowns along with 1,302 more yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground.