August 1, 2008

Redshirt Review: Brandon Hanna

Linebacker Brandon Hanna signed with Oregon with the class of 2007 out of Lake City high school in Coeur d'Alene along with classmate Carson York. Hanna has plenty of upside and may contribute this year, if he can begin to avoid injuries.

Vital Statistics

Name: Brandon Thomas Hanna
DOB: Oct. 29, 1988
Parents: David and Helen
Family: Two brothers
High School: Lake City (Coeur d'Alene)

So far in Hanna's short Duck career it has been one injury after another hampering his development. Despite battling injuries, the Spokane native still was awarded defensive scout team player of the week five times in 2007. Finally healthy, linebacker coach Don Pellum thinks Hanna has some potential coming off his redshirt year.

"I really like Brandon Hanna," stated Pellum. "Brandon is a really exciting player and he is tough. Brandon has been plagued by injuries and unfortunately those have led to fewer repetitions on the field so he hasn't had the same opportunities to learn."

Size at linebacker is something Duck fans and coaches would love to have. Hanna will never lack for the necessary size at linebacker having good size now and the body type that can add mass. Weighing in at 235 going into his redshirt freshman campaign, coach Pellum thinks that controlling the weight gain might be what keeps Hanna at linebacker.

"He's big and he'll have to fight to keep the weight off in a year," Pellum warned. "He just has the type of body that can put on weight. He may look down a couple years from now and see 260. If that happens we'd have to move him in but for now we're really excited to see what he can do at linebacker."

For a linebacker, stuffing the run at the point of attack is only half the duty. In other packages, speed is also necessary because the unit is helping in pass coverage. Whether the linebacker is dropping into zone or covering a man, he has to be able to move or must get taken out of the game in passing situations. Pellum believes Hanna has the potential to do that.

"He moves really well for a big guy," confirmed Hanna's position coach.

Because Hanna can move, he has the ability to play in the middle or on the edge. Depending on the depth chart, Hanna could play either Mike or Will linebacker. Following Kevin Garrett's suspension, perhaps it could be leaning more towards Will going into fall. Either way, he has a chance to contribute.

"I'm not sure if he's better at Mike or Will," Pellum mentioned. "This spring we played him at both. I think he runs well enough to play will but he is also a good Mike."

Coach Pellum has high hopes for Brandon Hanna going into 2008. This fall will be the key to how much playing time the redshirt freshman will get.

"This will be a big fall camp for Brandon in terms of where he ends up on the chart at the end," observed Pellum. "The key for Brandon is to be healthy. If he stays healthy he has a chance to help us. He's got a lot of potential and I'm excited about him."

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