MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s not very often that the SEC comes to Minnesota for recruiting college football players.
So when Nick Saban and Alabama came calling for East Ridge offensive lineman J.C. Hassenauer, he was happy to listen. Saban offered him a scholarship, and he accepted.
On Tuesday, the WCCO Radio Rally honored some of the top high school players in the metro. The biggest name was also the biggest player: J.C. Hassenauer. He was one of the leaders of an East Ridge football team that went 7-1 in the regular season and finished 8-2 overall. A sprained knee ligament ended his season earlier than he had hoped.
“Injuries happen, they are a part of the game and I completely realize that,” Hassenauer said. “I’m bouncing back from it great and just doing my rehab. Everything is going great.”
He is known for his intensity on the field. He wants to win, and do it on every play. The right term might be a little “football-nasty.”
“To be an offensive lineman you have to be nasty. You have to be able to get in the trenches and get into the game,” he said.
Away from the field, his mother said he’s a different person.
“He’s a little sweetheart at home,” said Torey Hassenauer. “He’s tough on the field but he’s sweet at home.”
His football intensity and attending Saban’s summer camps earned him a scholarship to Alabama. He said he can’t wait to be a part of the Crimson Tide, a program that won two straight national titles and is always a contender.
“It’s really cool. I know some of the players on Alabama and just to be able to see them and be out there on the field with them is a really great opportunity for me,” he said.
He’s excited because he loves football. It’s the game he seems built to play. It’s basically been his whole life. He said everything he does is just based on football, he enjoys it.