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February 13, 2013

Getting to know: Zach Hannon

Hannon was arguably the top interior offensive line recruit in the states bordering Nebraska. Being a standout lacrosse player as well has helped him develop good feet that has translated to the gridiron.

Hannon was a key "get" for the Husker staff in their efforts to develop a pipeline to the Kansas City recruiting territory. Below is another in our series of "Getting to know you" features which we will be running on all the members of Nebraska's 2013 recruiting class.

Zach Hannon
Position: Offensive Guard
Hometown: Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst
Current size: 6-foot-5, 295-pounds


Rankings: Hannon was rated a 5.7 three-star recruit by Rivals, as well as the 22nd best offensive guard in the country and the 7th best prospect from the state of Missouri. As a senior, he was named first-team Missouri Class 6A all-state and he was a first-team All-Metro pick by the Kansas City Star. He was also chosen to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

Recent statistics: Hannon did not allow one sack for the entire season and recorded 34 pancake blocks while helping Rockhurst to a 9-3 record and a trip to the third round of the state playoffs.

Other schools offering scholarships: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Northwestern, Virginia Colorado, Cornell, Duke and Houston.


Thoughts and opinions:

Who is your favorite football player of all-time?

"I'll have to say Will Shields."

What is the best football team you've ever seen?

"Not to be biased or anything but I'd say my high school my sophomore year. I didn't even play much on the team then but they were definitely the best team, I think."


Personal preferences:

What do you do in your spare time?

"I'm kind of a people person. I like being around my friends and my girlfriend. I like to play lacrosse and go to movies. I like throwing the ball around. Just normal stuff like that."

What food do you like the best?

"I'm going to have to say sweet potato pie. I love sweet potato pie."

What is your favorite television show?

"I'm going to have to say either Amish Mafia or Duck Dynasty."

Do you have a favorite movie?

"Friday Night Lights, no doubt about it."

What's your favorite song or musical artist?

"That's a tough one. I like old school stuff so I like Biggie Smalls. You're putting me on the spot so I'll go with Biggie."

What person(s) dead or alive you would like to sit down and have dinner with?

"These questions keep getting harder and harder. I think it would be cool to sit down with and talk to President Obama."

Do you have a nickname?

"People just call me Big Z. Z or Big Z sums it up."

What is something very few people know about you?

"People don't know that I like to cry at movies. Like, during the Notebook I just had to cry. It was sad, man. Most people don't know I'll do that."

Do you have a major picked out yet?

"I'm thinking something like Business Administration or Broadcast Journalism. I'm not sure yet, though."

Have you met all of the academic requirements to enroll at Nebraska?

"Yes, I'm all good to go."


An up close and personal look:

Did you ever have an embarrassing moment playing football?

"When I first got put in on Varsity my freshman year I would say. I didn't know what I was doing and they put me in on defense and I got flat backed like three times."

What has been the most memorable moment on the football field so far in your career?

"It was probably the Semper Fidelis game or coming back and beating Hutchinson, Kansas this year. We were down 34-14 and came back to win in the 4th quarter. That was a lot of fun."

Do you have a pre-game ritual?

"I just stay quiet. I don't really get hyped. I like to listen to my music and focus. I like listening to music, too."


Thoughts on Nebraska:

What position will you be playing at Nebraska?

"Left Guard."

Are you expecting to redshirt your first year at Nebraska?

"No sir. I want to compete right away."

What will you bring to Nebraska as far as a strong point?

"On the field I feel like my footwork gets me where I need to be. I play lacrosse and that helps a lot. It helps me with pulling. I also think my pass blocking. It's definitely one of my stronger suits."

What is the one thing you need to work on to play at the next level?

"Probably just conditioning. I'm not out of shape but I can come in and play bigger than ever."

How often do you work out and what is your routine?

"I work out everyday. Right now I'm doing lacrosse conditioning so lots of conditioning stuff. I also go to my own trainer and get some work in over there."


A look at the recruiting process:

What one thing was the determining factor in your picking Nebraska?

"I think when I came to the Big Red Weekend. I brought both of my uncles, my girlfriend and my grandma. To see how much they enjoyed it was a deciding factor. My family loved it and so did I."

Did the Nebraska coaches do anything unique in their recruiting?

"I think Coach (Bo) Pelini was just more direct. It was what you see is what you get. It's black and white. If I can do it, I can do it and won't redshirt. Some guys promised me to play and I told myself if a coach promises me to play then I wouldn't go to that school. At Nebraska, I know if you're good enough you'll play and I liked that. It's just black and white."

Is there a Nebraska coach that you feel especially close to?

"I would have to say Coach (John) Garrison. I'm sure all the offensive line recruits say that but he basically says he sees a lot of himself in me. He played at my rival high school so he went from Kansas City to Nebraska as well. He was a recruited guy out of high school like me and just very similar to me."

What was your favorite moment during the recruiting process?

"Looking back it was probably getting my Nebraska offer. The first school, Arkansas, will always be close to my heart but when Nebraska came in it was like the world stopped. The fan base and everything like that was just an amazing recruiting moment."

What was the worst moment during the recruiting process?

"You know, there was a couple of days and I don't want it to sound selfish or offend anybody but sometimes multiple offers would come in on the same day and things would get hectic. It meant a lot of phone calls and it was just a little stressful."

Did you make friends with any current players at Nebraska or incoming freshmen during the
process?


"Oh yeah, Michael Rose was a good friend of mine in high school. I talk to him every week or every couple of weeks so he's a good friend already on the team. Josh Banderas, I know him. Everyone knows Josh. Maliek Collins played in Kansas City so I know him. I haven't really had the chance to meet everyone yet but I know a couple guys."

What was the best feature of your most recent visit to Nebraska?

"I would just say the atmosphere. It was a nighttime atmosphere and it was a big game. The entire thing was just second to none. Very, very exciting.

What did you think of Nebraska's season/bowl loss?

"I think Nebraska had a good season. Some people are mad because they lost four games but it was a really good season. They had Georgia on their heels all game. I think Nebraska should have won that game and Georgia could have easily been in the national championship game against Notre Dame. They played really well."

What school would you have chosen if you hadn't decided in favor of Nebraska?

"This one might get me in a little bit of trouble. Probably, to be honest, Arkansas or Missouri."


The future and goals for Nebraska and beyond:

What number would you like to wear at Nebraska?

"72. That's what I wore all through high school and in the All-American game. I think that's the number they're going to give me."

What is your goal for this year?

"To be honest, I want to better myself and be the best I can be. A big goal of mine is going to be to start. I'm coming in to compete and I think that would be a good goal to have. I want to compete."

Are you planning to attend the Huskers' Red-White spring game?

"I am. We actually play lacrosse in Lincoln that weekend so I'll be there. It works out well. I'll definitely be there."

Would you like to say anything to the Nebraska fans?

"Just know that everything that the fans have told us through the websites and boards, I appreciate it all a lot. I read that stuff everyday and I appreciate the support. I honestly believe Nebraska has the best fans in the country."




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