Overview: Larsten Hanson was a senior who played offensive tackle for Sacramento State. In 2015, he was a team captain and he was one of the players named to the Big Sky All-conference team as an offensive tackle. He has great footwork and good speed at the offensive line position. He was also invited and played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Larsten, during which time he told me more about his background, his personality, his dreams, and his overall love for football.
Christa: For the people who do not know your story, how did you wind up choosing Sacramento State?
LH: Sacramento State was really the only school that believed in me and trusted that I would perform for them. Many Universities were interested in me but Sacramento State was the only school who offered me a scholarship, so it was an easy decision to sign with the Hornets.
Christa: How do you plan on making yourself stand out and noticed by scouts?
LH: For the first couple of years at Sacramento state I played right tackle, I started my first collegiate game at New Mexico State at right tackle as a freshman and felt extremely comfortable there. A couple games into the season our team was plagued with injuries and I was thrown to the other side of the line at left tackle. The change and the level that I performed on both sides as a young offensive lineman revealed my versatility and mental toughness to accept a challenge. After my senior season I was blessed with the opportunity to play at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, there I was able to showcase my athleticism and work ethic to the scouts who were in attendance.
C: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
LH: I believe that my biggest strengths are the quickness of my feet and hands. I know that I can improve on my knee bend and play at a better pad level.
C: What separates you from the other players at your position?
LH: My level of athleticism is something that not many tackles have, my ability to run and move with quickness and force is something that I have been able to harness and use to my advantage. I also practice and play with a great level of competitiveness.
C: Which current or former NFL player do you think you resemble and why?
LH: I’ve been watching Nate Solder since he played at Colorado. We have the same frame and athleticism. I’ve been studying his style of play for years and been trying to apply what I learn from him to improve my play on the O-Line.
C: Do you prefer run blocking or pass blocking?
LH: When I was younger I enjoyed pass blocking more because I have long arms and it was easy to create separation, but a coach came along (Conor Riley who is currently the offensive line coach at NDSU) who instilled a passion for run blocking in me. Ever since then, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed run blocking.
C: Who is the toughest player you’ve ever faced in your college career?
LH: Probably DE Zack Wagenmann from Montana.
C: How do you prepare for game day? Do you have any game day rituals?
LH: I like to take roughly a 10 minute hot bath and after that I get a good stretch in before getting taped and changed. After I get changed into my uniform I like to listen to music and clear my mind and focus on the game plan and run through different situations over and over in my head. I visualize myself executing different techniques on different plays. I clear my mind again and then it’s go time.
C: What is the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you in your college career?
LH: I’ve been told many things during my career at Sacramento State, many of them had to do with my play on the field and how to improve my technique… But what resonated with me the most was what was said about life and football and how they intertwine. “The relationships you make here in this meeting room will be some of the greatest friendships you will ever have. You will trust them, love them, and play for them.” Being an offensive lineman you must be able to trust the guy next to you that he will do his job. And you have to move together as one. And having that kind of connection with such a large group of guys is something that words can’t explain, and it transfers off the field. And my coach was right, my best friends are the ones that I’ve had to trust on the line right next to me.
C: What was your favorite moment/play at Sacramento State?
LH: It was the last game of the 2014 season and our rivalry game, we played UC Davis at UC Davis. My quarterback Garett Safron came to the huddle and told us to get in victory formation , everyone looked at each other with the biggest smiles on their faces and after the ball was snapped Garret was already on the other side of the field raising the trophy to our fans. It was a feeling that I will never forget.
Locker Room Update would like to thank Larsten Hanson for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his journey as an NFL 2016 draft prospect.
Follow him on Twitter: @larsten76