Back Justice Hansen Continues to Star

Justice Hansen Continues to Star

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

No talk of the top signal callers nationally is complete unless Justice Hansen is included.

In week one of the college football season, Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen proved why he is clearly one of the best quarterbacks in the country. While everyone was playing their first games of the year, Hansen was playing video games, instead; 26-of-36 passing for 423 yards and a school-record six touchdowns. Remarkably, that yardage number stands as the lowest total of his last three regular season games. No talk of the top signal callers nationally is complete unless Hansen is included. 

Saturday was just the latest chapter in Hansen's story.

Hansen, a year ago, threw for 3,967 yards and 37 touchdowns and ran for 423 more yards and seven more scores. Since the start of 2016, only three passers have had 3,900 yards through the air and 400 yards on the ground in a single-season; two of them, in addition to Hansen, claim national titles, Central Florida's McKenzie Milton and Deshaun Watson of Clemson. Speaking of the Golden Knights, Hansen is the last quarterback to beat UCF, throwing, as a sophomore, for three touchdowns in a Cure Bowl triumph.   

As a junior, Hansen set Sun Belt records for total yards (4,382), total touchdowns (44) and passing scores (37), in addition to establishing other marks. Overall, he set the tone for an Arkansas State offensive unit that finished in the top ten in college football with 494.8 yards per game. Hansen just became the first league quarterback to throw for six touchdowns in a single game in over ten years; he did it in three quarters.

Out of the gate, Hansen was one of just two quarterbacks in the country to throw for six scores in game one, his touchdown passes coming to six different receivers. Hansen led the Red Wolves to 685 yards and 30 first downs in a 48-21 win over Southeast Missouri State. The performance wasn't as much of a signature showcase as it was more of the same.

Next up for Hansen and Arkansas State? Top-ranked Alabama. In keeping tabs on the best players in the game, it's at least worth keeping an eye on this one. 

For all of his numbers, Hansen is now 16-7 as a starter.

There aren't many players in recent college football history quite like Hansen. The show continues.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports