Hassenauer is 6'2'', 290 pounds and is the No. 8 center recruit in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Outside of Alabama, the only other offers he possesses are from Minnesota and Vanderbilt, per 247Sports, so he's definitely not your typical highly sought-after Tide recruit.
With that said, Hassenauer is an underrated and under-recruited player, according to Jared Shanker of ESPN, who reports on his commitment:
Since an outstanding performance at the Memphis NFTC, center J.C. Hassenauer (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge) has been considered one of the most under-recruited prospects in the country. Only Minnesota and Vanderbilt offered.
Then Hassenauer camped at Alabama, and word got out that the Tide loved what they saw and offered. Now, the under-the-radar lineman is an Alabama commitment. The three-star center and his father both confirmed the commitment to ESPN.com. It was rumored he committed this weekend.
“I have committed,” Hassenauer wrote in a text message.
It was only a matter of time before Alabama got hot on the recruiting trail. Until about a week ago, Saban and his staff were slowly but surely putting together a nice class. Now, with the commitment of Hassenauer, the Crimson Tide are officially rolling.
Derek Kief, a 4-star wideout, committed to Alabama Sunday, and the Tide landed the commitment of elite quarterback recruit David Cornwell last week. Hassenauer is the second offensive lineman commit for Alabama, joining 4-star guard Viane Talamaivao.
Hassenauer has the potential to be good, but he'll need a few years of development. He has a quick first step and gets his hands up right out of his snap, and that's the first thing to look for with a center. He gets good initial contact and plays with the knowledge of gap leverage—positioning himself in between the defender and the running lane.
He has the quickness to get to the second level and wall off defenders, and that also translates into the pass-blocking game, because he has quick feet and moves well.
Hassenauer does need to get stronger and work on combating the bull rush. He also needs to get lower leverage as a run-blocker and work on extending his hands, creating separation and driving his feet.
If he stays committed to Alabama, he'll benefit greatly from working with the Tide's coaching staff.
As just a rising senior, there's a lot to like about this center recruit.
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