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Could Harvard land PHU standout?

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Sun. November 22, 2009 | Keith Niebuhr

Mark Hansson's recruitment has an interesting twist.

In addition to boasting offers from Division I-A programs Colorado State, Connecticut, Florida International and Indiana, the standout Palm Harbor University offensive lineman also has one from Harvard.

And right now, the Crimson apparently are in the hunt.

"They're all even," Hansson said.

He can't be serious. Can he?

"Yes," Hansson insisted.

The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Hansson, who has made an official visit to Colorado State, will take an official to Harvard on Dec. 4.

"I need to see how I feel about the players and coaches," Hansson said. "That's going to be a big factor."

Harvard has several things working in its favor. For starters, it's Harvard.

"It might be the best school in the world," said Hansson, who plans to study business or law.

Harvard also has a solid football program under Tim Murphy, who once coached at Cincinnati. Additionally, the Crimson can offer early playing time, Hansson said.

Now, the minuses:

Harvard won't be appearing on CBS any time soon, doesn't compete in bowls or the I-AA playoffs and doesn't offer academic scholarships.

"That's the only downside," Hansson said.

Can the Crimson pull Hansson away from the lure of I-A football? Hansson isn't sure just yet, but when asked if he could picture himself in a Harvard uniform, he didn't hesitate.

"Yes," Hansson said. "I definitely could."

One final thought on this subject:

In the world of recruiting, teams often go negative in an attempt to get their guy. Coaches recruiting against Florida State are surely talking about Bobby Bowden’s age. Florida rivals no doubt are pointing out that Tim Tebow is graduating soon. But I wondered, what are the other schools recruiting Hansson saying bad about Harvard.

“What can they say?” Hansson responded.

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