Getting to Know: Tight End Signee Hayden Hansen

Feb 16, 2022 | 0 comments


FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
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It was one eventful weekend in January that secured the fate for tight end Hayden Hansen. In a span of fewer than 72 hours, the Texas talent not only visited the University of Florida, but he received an offer and committed to the Gators.

Hansen joined a talented tight end room that looks to continue the legacy that now-Pro-Bowler Kyle Pitts left behind.

Inside the Gators got to know the man under the helmet in this edition of Getting to Know.


FOOTBALL/RECRUITING

It was a very quick process for you. You visited, were offered, and committed essentially in one weekend. Walk me through that.
“Since the beginning, one of my earliest offers was Louisiana, so I’ve known Coach [Billy] Napier for a long time and about 85% of the staff that went with him. It was more of just a reunion. After that, it was just a no-brainer. I was just waiting on the offer.

What was it like getting to know the new people on the staff?
“The biggest thing for me is I wanted to meet Coach [William] Peagler. That was the only one I hadn’t matched a voice to a face. We’re two pretty like-minded people and we’ll have good chemistry throughout the season.”

“It was good seeing all the other familiar faces, especially Coach [Ryan] O’Hara, Coach [Jabbar] Juluke, those are my guys. I like them a lot.”

“I just know that they’re going to bring the same style they have over at Louisiana over to Florida and Florida will be the place to be.”

And why do you think Florida will be the place to be?
“Coach Napier was at Louisiana for about four years and brought that team up from the ground and now they’re one of the top Group of Five schools.”

“Just by bringing his culture and applying it in the locker room and having the players follow his lead and get into routines, I feel like we’ll be competing for National Championships.”

You got a cool reply to your Twitter commitment from a Gator great at your position in Kyle Pitts. What was that like?
“It didn’t feel real at first. I was sitting in the airport ready to fly back and I was just looking to see who all had interacted with it. I saw this little white checkmark and was like ‘Who’s that?’ and I was like ‘Oh that’s Kyle Pitts dude’ I couldn’t believe it. That guy, he’s done it. He paved the way for tight ends at Florida. It was cool to get a little notice from him, for sure.”

If you could describe your play in one word, what would it be?
“Tough”

What are you looking forward to in the transition from high school football to college football?
“Being surrounded by amazing athletes all around you. You step in there and you’re no longer the stud on the team. You got to work your way and earn what you got. Just knowing when you step on the field that everyone’s got your back.”

Who are you looking forward to playing with when you get here?
“I really like Nick [Elksnis]. I feel like he’ll be a good role model when I step in there first on how to handle business at Florida. He was the host on my visit. He’s a good guy. I like him and Max Brown. He and Andrew Savaiinaea. Those three I think I’ll be close with and the kicker Trey Smack.”

What got you into football?
“I’ve been playing since kindergarten and I’ve always kind of been a head taller than everyone. Instead of playing flag, my dad made me play first-grade tackle. I was too small to run the ball, so they put me at center. After that, I played quarterback until sophomore year then moved to tight end my junior year. What kept me in it was just watching it on TV, really wanting to be on TV one day just kept me into it.”

So, you might be throwing a touchdown in the Swamp too?
“Oh, yea for sure. I did that in high school. I was only one-for-one, and it was about a 15-yard pass. If they ever need me to do it, I definitely can. it will be on the money.”

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PERSONAL

Do you listen to any music pregame, any particular songs?
“It depends on my mood. Sometimes it’s Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, some of the old ones. Maybe some newer ones like 2 Chainz, Kendrick [Lamar] just to get my blood flowing and adrenaline pumping.”

Three of the names you mentioned just performed at the Super Bowl what did you think of that performance?
“It was awesome. I was flipping in my chair when I saw 50 Cent hanging upside down. I had no idea he was going to be in that. It was definitely the best halftime show I’ve seen.”

What do you look for in a good roommate?
“Someone that’s on the calmer side, down to earth, doesn’t go out as much. I’m not really a partier. I’m more sit back and study the playbook. I’m a pretty calm guy. I don’t go out and get wild.”

Who has been the biggest role model for you in your life?
“My grandma [Joan Galich] for sure. She’s always just taught me to never give up and you have to earn what you get. Nothing comes easy in this world, and I’ve always stuck with that, and it helped me.”

If you could have dinner with three people from any point in history, who would they be?
“First one is Joe Flacco. That’s my role model in football. That’s who I wore No. 5 until my senior year. I’ve always loved that dude. I’m a big Ravens fan.”

“Second, I’ll probably go with 50 Cent.”

“Third will probably be Kevin Hart. That’s a pretty funny dude.”

What meal are you having at this dinner?
“Oh, straight steak. Maybe some mac and cheese on the side, but the main course is steak for sure. You can’t go wrong with that”

What TV show are you binging right now?
“I was and it’s killing me, dude. So, I was watching Manifest. I finished all the seasons. I didn’t know it got canceled and they didn’t get to finish it, so they’re shooting the last season right now. It doesn’t come out until June 1 so I’m kind of hanging out waiting for the last season. That’s definitely one to watch that one is crazy.”

If you a chance to go on a dream date, who would it be with?
“Oh, Madison Beer hands down. Maybe Ariana Grande, but Madison beer is first”

What would you all be doing on this dream date?
“Whatever she wants. Whatever gets me the second date.”

“I actually have a picture with her. I met her in Vegas.”

OK, so how did that come about?
“We were in Vegas for my sister’s volleyball tournament, and we were in this brand new hotel. I was walking in the lobby one day and she walked past me. I was like ‘Wait a minute. This girl has four huge dudes surrounding her.’ I turned around and looked and was like ‘That’s freaking Madison Beer dude.’”

“She was like ‘How tall are you?’ and I was like ‘Uh 6’7”.’ She was like ‘How old are you?’ and I told her 17. I probably should have told her like 22 or something. I fumbled the bag.”

“I also met Terrell Owens there too.”

Do I need to start traveling with you, meeting all these celebrities?
“It was a crazy weekend. He was just laying at the pool and I’m like ‘Dude, that’s T.O.’”

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
“Hopefully in the NFL. If not, I’ll follow some different routes. Maybe in the business world. Maybe coach one day. For sure, the priority is the NFL.”

What do you have on your bucket list?
"I've always wanted to go to Hawaii and see the islands."
"I've definitely always wanted to win a championship, Super bowl or national championship so I'm going to try and do that here."

If you get drafted, what's the first purchase going to be?
"I would say buy my parents a house but they're pretty happy where they're at. I'd probably get my mom a really nice car or think of something I can add to the house."

Tags: Recruit

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