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 Data Scout Notes: 2020: 3rdC...PNagurski/PButkus/PBednarik...2019: HMC...HM All-Big Ten, Media HM All-Big Ten w/72 TT, 7.5 TFL, 3.5 SCK, INT, 3 FR, 7 FF in 9 gms in '19. 95 TT, 8.5 TFL, SCK, PBU, QBH, FR, FF in 12 gms in '18. Medical redshirt due to injury in '17. Backup w/8 TT, QBH in 1 st, 12 gms in '16.

  , , Player News

  03/03/21 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  Bret Bielema tweeted late Monday morning about "unexpected good news coming," capping the post with Illinois football's new "#famILLy" hashtag. Mere minutes later, that good news revealed itself. Linebacker Jake Hansen is returning to the Illini for a sixth season of college football, he announced Monday through the Illinois football Twitter account. Hansen in December 2020 declared for the NFL draft. "The 2020 football season wasn't exactly how I imagined my time at Illinois to end," Hansen said in a video clip. "After extensive talks with Coach Bielema and the University of Illinois staff, I've decided that I have unfinished business in the orange and blue. I'm excited to get back up to Champaign and get to work with my teammates and my new coaches. Go Illini." Hansen is the second Illini upperclassman to reverse course after announcing a departure from the program this offseason. Defensive lineman Owen Carney Jr. announced in December that he was entering the transfer portal before determining in January that he would come back to Illinois. - News Gazette Tribune

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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  01/04/21 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  Hansen declared for the 2021 NFL draft on Monday, and he's joined in that regard by fellow Illini Kendrick Green, Milo Eifler and Josh Imatorbhebhe. Another key defensive starter in 2020, defensive end Owen Carney Jr., announced he would enter the transfer portal on Wednesday. Losing each of those contributors creates a significant hole for Illinois. But the return of the Illini's other starting offensive linemen somewhat blunts Green's absence, while both Eifler and Imatorbhebhe played just two seasons for Illinois.

Hansen is a different story, especially considering fellow linebacker Eifler is also leaving. Hansen played immediately for the Illini, seeing 29 starts at linebacker during his last three years. He finished third in team history with 10 forced fumbles and also contributed 243 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, seven sacks and three interceptions during his Illinois career. - News Gazette Tribune


(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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  12/29/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  Instead of pursuing a sixth season at Illinois, star linebacker Jake Hansen declared for the NFL Draft. Hansen was one of the leaders on the defense and a turnover-creating machine during his time in Champaign. This season, he led Illinois this season with 68 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Hansen was named a Second Team All-Big Ten linebacker this season by conference media and a Third Team selection by coaches. Hansen's 10 career forced fumbles are tied for third-most in program history, behind only Simeon Rice (13) and Whitney Mercilus (11). He led the nation in forced fumbles during the 2019 season, forcing seven fumbles in just seven games. Hansen was involved in 14 takeaways during the last two seasons, which leads the nation. - Herald-Review Times

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Herald-Review Times
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  12/16/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  2020 ALL-BIG TEN FOOTBALL THIRD TEAM (COACHES): LB Jake Hansen, Illinois,...Second career All-Big Ten honor (2019 honorable mentions by coaches and media)...Current Big Ten ranks: tied for the B1G lead in forced fumbles, #2 in fumble recoveries, #6 in tackles, #7 in interceptions, #9 in TFLs...Had four straight games with a forced fumble, fumble recovery or interception. - Illinois Football

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Illinois Football
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  12/10/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  There's a science to the way Jake Hansen approaches forcing fumbles, one he's apparently mastered. The Illinois linebacker doesn't frantically flail at the football, simply hoping he will jar it out of the defender's hands. He's methodical. When he hopped on the back of former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor last season to force the ball free at a crucial moment in what turned out to be an upset of the then-No. 6 Badgers? That was something he noticed in film. There's a method to his madness and it's translated to 10 career forced fumbles, which is tied for third in program history behind Simeon Rice (13) and Whitney Mercilus (11). In the last two seasons, Hansen has been involved in 14 total takeaways, which is five more than his closest competition.

"I don't know a lot of guys who can strip the ball away (10) times in his career," linebacker Milo Eifler said. "He's been doing that for a long time. For him it's muscle memory...To play with somebody that special and that dedicated to stripping the ball, it helps our defense that much more." Hansen is 13th in the Big Ten with 51 tackles, 11th in tackles for a loss (6.5), tied for second in forced fumbles (2), fumbles recovered (2) and tied for fourth in interceptions (2). He and Syracuse linebacker Mikel Jones are the only two linebackers in the nation with multiple interceptions, forced fumbles, and fumble recoveries in 2020. - Herald-Review Times


(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Herald-Review Times
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  11/21/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  Lovie Smith didn't move Jake Hansen from inside linebacker to outside linebacker because of any shortcomings on Hansen's part. Even with his appearance in the season opener against Wisconsin shortened by injury, Hansen compiled 22 tackles, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as an inside linebacker during Illinois football's first three games of 2020. Yet Hansen was told he'd be deployed differently in preparation for last week's game at Rutgers. The result? More dominance from the 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior. Specifically 15 tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, one pass breakup and one interception in the Illini's 23-20 victory over the Scarlet Knights.

"It's kind of a natural transition just because I played it all last year," said Hansen, whose 10 career forced fumbles have him tied him for third in Illinois history. "Just having a good knowledge of the defense helps that out as well." Smith said after Saturday's win and reiterated the point again on Monday afternoon ahead of this Saturday's 11 a.m. game between Illinois (1-3) and host Nebraska (1-2) that Hansen changed positions in order to give sophomore Tarique Barnes more repetitions. - News Gazette Tribune


(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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  10/22/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  Illinois named its five team captains Friday, with redshirt senior linebacker Jake Hansen selected by his teammates for a second straight season. Smith will lean on his newly-minted middle linebacker this season. "I love Jake Hansen," Smith said. "I love all of our players. Sometimes just based on the position a little bit, you may spend a little more time with someone. I'm calling the defensive signals. Jake makes the calls. I spend a little bit more time with him. He's easy to like. He does everything the right way. "It's hard not to buy into a guy like that. As a football coach, you want guys leading your team that are that way. We just named our five captains this past Friday. Jake, for the second year in a row, that means a lot to be selected captain two years in a row." - News Gazette Tribune

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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  10/20/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  Last year, he was a Butkus Award semifinalist. This year, he is already on the watch list for the honor, named after the former Illini great. His move to middle linebacker should enhance both his statistics and the play of the defense. He will be the quarterback of the unit and pile up a high tackle count after he made 72 tackles in 2019. He has learned well from the Illini coaches, who stress takeaways at every turn. A year ago, despite missing the final four games, he led the nation with seven forced fumbles. That's a skill that doesn't go away. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound product of Tarpon Springs, Fla., is the son of former BYU standout Shad, who is the school's career leader in tackles. Hansen follows a long line of successful linebackers in C-U, a list that includes Dana Howard, Kevin Hardy, John Holecek, Darrick Brownlow, Danny Clark, J Leman, Mason Monheim and, of course, Butkus. - News Gazette Tribune

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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  07/25/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  2020 BUTKUS AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Jake Hansen, Illinois,...2019 All Big-Ten honorable mention (coaches)...2019 All-Big Ten honorable mention (media)...Eight career forced fumbles are fourth-most in program history (dating back to 1990)...72 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries for the 2019 season...Led the nation in forced fumbles (7) and ranked fifth in fumbles recovered (3) for the 2019 season. - Illinois Football

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Illinois Football
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  07/25/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  2020 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: LB Jake Hansen, Illinois,...The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with Charlotte Touchdown Club named Illinois senior LB Jake Hansen to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list. It is the third watch list for Hansen after he was on the Bednarik and Butkus watch lists earlier this month. Hansen had 72 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries for the 2019 season. - Illinois Football

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Illinois Football
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  07/19/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  2020 PRESEASON BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: LB Jake Hansen, Illinois,...2019 Butkus Award Semifinalist...2019 All Big-Ten honorable mention (coaches)...2019 All-Big Ten honorable mention (media)...Eight career forced fumbles are fourth-most in program history (dating back to 1990)...72 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries for the 2019 season...Led the nation in forced fumbles (7) and ranked fifth in fumbles recovered (3) for the 2019 season. - Illinois Football

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Illinois Football
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  07/13/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  Jake Hansen missed the final four games of the 2019 Illinois football season with a back injury. What the Illini linebacker did before his season-ending setback, though, was still notable. Notable enough to wind up on the Bednarik Award watch list on Monday. The Bednarik Award is presented to the top defensive player in the country. Hansen was a Butkus Award semifinalist - the honor given to the nation's top linebacker - in 2019 despite playing in just nine games. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker finished his redshirt junior season at Illinois with 72 tackles, 7 1/2 tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks. - News Gazette

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: News Gazette
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  05/28/20 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  The Illinois football team can start returning to campus in less than a week. The first wave of athletes is scheduled to arrive June 3. While there was some initial excitement that a plan was in place to return a bit of normalcy to their summer, some of the Illini leaders are taking a measured approach to their eventual return. Jake Hansen's concerns don't lie with the uncertain nature of the coronavirus. The redshirt senior linebacker has more questions about what the voluntary workouts and training sessions will be with the team back on campus. "Am I going to be able to get the quality work in that I would be able to usually get during this time in the summer?" Hansen said. "If not, then I'd like to be at home where I could work out in my personal gym and do things where I know I'm going to be able to get the right amount of work and the quality of work I want to get in. If we are able to do that at Illinois, then by all means I'm going to be at Illinois as soon as possible. I think that's what it sounds like we're going to be able to do." Every student-athlete will be tested for COVID-19 upon their return to campus, quarantined alone for a brief period of time in a residence hall and tested again before they're allowed to return to their own campus residence and start working out. - News Gazette Tribune

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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  12/05/19 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  2019 ALL-BIG TEN HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): Jake Hansen,...Butkus Award Semifinalist...Missed the Michigan State, Iowa games with an injury...Leads the nation in forced fumbles (7) and ranks fifth in fumbles recovered (3) entering the Northwestern game. - Illinois Football

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Illinois Football
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  10/21/19 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  OCT 21/WEEK 8 BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jake Hansen, Illinois, Jr., LB, Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake,...Forced a pair of fumbles in Illinois' win against Wisconsin, giving him a nation-leading total of seven on the season...Moved into second place in school history for forced fumbles in a season, trailing only Whitney Mercilus' nine in 2011...Finished the game with 11 tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss...Receives his second career Defensive Player of the Week honor and first since 2018...Last Illinois Defensive Player of the Week: Jake Hansen (Sept. 3, 2018). - Big Ten football

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: Big Ten football
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  10/20/19 - ILB Jake HansenrSr/2022, Illinois, 6-0, 230 (DS#19 ILB) + More +

  OCT 20 WALTER CAMP FOOTBALL NATIONAL FBS DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JAKE HANSEN, ILLINOIS, Junior, Linebacker, Tarpon Springs, FL/East Lake HS,...Jake Hansen recorded 11 tackles (6 solo), one quarterback sack and forced two fumbles as Illinois defeated sixth-ranked Wisconsin, 24-23. With the victory, Illinois improved to 3-4, 1-3 in the Big Ten. Notes: Jake Hansen is the second Illinois player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the first since running back Mikel LeShoure (Nov. 21, 2010). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation

(DS#19 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Jake HansenIllinois
News Source: The Walter Camp Football Foundation
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