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Justice Hansen is a Star

By BJ Bennett
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When considering the top quarterbacks in the game for this fall, Justice Hansen, undoubtedly, should be high on the list.

This past fall, only Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph averaged more total yards per game than Justice Hansen's 365.8.

There aren't many quarterbacks in the country quite like Arkansas State's Justice Hansen. Entering his senior year, the former Oklahoma signal caller already has multiple school and Sun Belt Conference records. The momentum of a frenzied finish to last season has Hansen positioned for even more dynamic success. He, this fall, is poised to be one of the premier quarterbacks in all of college football.  

Over the past two years, only three passers have had 3,900 yards through the air and 400 yards on the ground in a single-season; two of them claim national titles. Hansen joins Central Florida's McKenzie Milton and Deshaun Watson of Clemson as the only recent players to reach the milestone.

For point of reference, Hansen, a year ago, threw for as many touchdowns as Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and tossed more than SEC signal callers Jake Bentley and Jarrett Stidham combined. Hansen, last season, scored just one less total touchdown than 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. This past fall, only Jackson and Rudolph averaged more total yards per game than Hansen's 365.8.   

Hansen's junior year came with new Sun Belt marks for total yards, yards per game, passing touchdowns and total touchdowns, among others, with his 3,967 yards through the air slotting in the top five in the league all-time. Remarkably, how Hansen finished is even more impressive. He threw for 1,294 yards and nine touchdowns over Arkansas State's last three games, adding six rushing touchdowns over the final four. In a 67-50 victory over Louisiana-Monroe, Hansen threw for 520 yards and scored six times. 

Fittingly, Hansen bookended his historic season with 415 passing yards and three touchdowns at Nebraska and 337 yards and four scores in the Camellia Bowl against Middle Tennessee. He and the Red Wolves ranked in the top ten nationally in total offense along the way.

Hansen, above all else, is a playmaker. With a 15-7 career record as starter, and no loss coming by more than one score in than span, he is a winner, too; Hansen, in fact, threw for three touchdowns as the last quarterback to beat Central Florida, with Arkansas State winning the Cure Bowl two years prior. Not long after being on the Oklahoma roster with 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, Hansen is now making a name for himself. 

When considering the top quarterbacks in the game for this fall, Hansen, undoubtedly, should be high on the list. He is an intriguing professional prospect at 6'4'', 220 pounds, but, first, is preparing for even more unparalleled production. Correspondingly, Arkansas State should be a top group-of-five team. Hansen is now poised to be a leading name, with the Red Wolves right alongside.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is'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: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports