While Saturday's spring game could go some ways toward determining who Oklahoma's quarterback is for next year, it could also be a big day for the Sooners' future at the position in years beyond.
Edmond Santa Fe quarterback Justice Hansen, the No. 3 player on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's top recruits for 2014, is nearing his decision.
Wolves coach Lance Manning said Friday that he anticipated Hansen's decision in “24-48 hours.” Hansen has narrowed his choices to Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
“He thinks a lot of both schools,” Manning said. “I appreciate the fact that we're not waiting until the first week of February and he doesn't have five hats in front of him and picking one out. That's all fine if that's what people want to do, I just don't like that.”
Hansen (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) is a pro-style quarterback but improved with his legs last year, rushing for 773 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He passed for 3,079 yards, 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Hansen also has offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Missouri and Tulsa.
Texas A&M extended an offer to Hansen in January, while the Sooners' offer came in early February.
The Aggies' addition of Tulsa native Jake Spavital as their co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach made a big impression on Hansen at the time.
“You look at the guys he's coached before, guys like Case Keenum, Geno Smith and Brandon Weeden and the things he's helped them do, and you can't help but be impressed,” Hansen said shortly after receiving the offer from A&M.
His dad, Dusty, played baseball at OU in the 1990s, and Manning said there are plenty of other reasons the Sooners are in the mix.
“He really thinks a lot of the staff there at OU, especially Josh Heupel, and the direction they're headed and the changes they've made to what they're doing.”
Hansen has been hampered lately by a lower-back strain that he suffered during basketball season but is throwing again and could be fully cleared by early next week, Manning said.
Hansen has been throwing to Santa Fe receivers at least three days a week when the weather allows.
“His heavy lifting was put on hold for awhile but it was just a small hurdle through the winter,” Manning said. “If there's a time for something like that to happen, it's around this time.”