Virginia Tech OL Jesse Hanson has sense of urgency this spring repping with first-team group | Virginia Tech

By | March 26, 2022

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech offensive lineman Jesse Hanson has spent the early portion of spring camp working with the first team.

It’s a moment that’s been a long time coming for Hanson.

The Lord Botetourt alum enrolled early as part of the Hokies 2019 signing class. He’s only played 28 snaps over those three years — he redshirted as a true freshman — and none of those came in competitive games.

“I think it’s tough on anybody not to play, because you love the sport,” Hanson said, speaking to reporters on Wednesday. “I want to be on the field. I want to be playing. And I’ve been working a long time to be in a position where I can play with the guys that I’ve been here with for so long.”

Hanson knows this is his biggest opportunity yet, and he doesn’t want it to slip through his fingers.

“Definitely a sense of urgency,” Hanson said of playing with the first team. “It’s something that I’ve worked for forever, so I’ve got to make sure I keep it.”

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The offensive lineman feels said this spring has felt like a “dream come true” with his new position coach Joe Rudolph playing a key role in that. Rudolph came over to Tech after turning Wisconsin into a pipeline to the NFL for offensive linemen during a successful seven-year run.

The Badgers’ rushing offense ranked fifth in the Power Five during that stretch.

“If there’s one word to describe Rudolph it’d just be ‘genius.’ The guy is just an O-line genius,” Hanson said. “I learned so much in the last couple months. It’s just insane the amount I’ve been able to learn. I just want to take what he’s teaching me and bring it onto the field.”

Hanson has repped both guard spots at practice in recent years, but has settled in at left guard where Rudolph is looking to replace Lecitus Smith.

The rest of the first-team starting lineup during open portions of practice has been Silas Dzansi at left tackle, Johnny Jordan at center, Kaden Moore at right guard and Parker Clements at right tackle. Hanson is the only one in the group without starting experience.

“We’re going to do it the right way and we’re a team,” Hanson said of Rudolph’s focus. “We’re going to win and we’re going to win by doing the right technique. And just seeing how insanely well Coach Rudolph can communicate what he wants us to do, that’s just something that’s been overwhelmingly positive and amazing.”

Hanson has also been reunited with his former Lord Botetourt teammate Gunner Givens. Givens is starting out at the defensive line, but Hanson loves that Tech has established a bit of a pipeline to his former school.

Fellow Lord Botetourt offensive lineman Hunter Mclain will join the two when he enrolls this summer.

“I’ve kept my eye on him,” Hanson said of Givens.

It’s all added up to one of the most enjoyable times of Hanson’s collegiate career.

“It’s a new beginning, a new slate,” Hanson said with a smile. “Everybody’s excited, so it’s a fun time.”

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