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Zach Hanson set to join K-State coaching staff as student assistant

By KELLIS ROBINETT
The Kansas City Star

Zach Hanson’s final game in a Kansas State uniform has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean his time with the Wildcats is over.

The former offensive lineman, who played a key role in K-State’s run to the Cotton Bowl last season at left tackle, is set to join the coaching staff as a student assistant in charge of offensive quality control. His main duty will be working with offensive line coach Charlie Dickey and the unit he used to be a part of as he attends graduate school.

“I’m excited to get started,” Hanson said by phone. “We have a lot of young talent and a couple starters coming back. I’m looking forward to helping in anyway that I can as a coach.”

Hanson should be able to share plenty of knowledge with K-State’s returning blockers. If not for a back injury, Hanson would currently have a shot at the NFL. That’s where his attention turned when his college football career came to an end. At 6 feet 8 and 313 pounds, he received the attention of pro scouts based on his size alone, and the Baltimore Ravens invited him to take part in their rookie camp as an undrafted free agent.

But he was unable to attend. A week before the camp began, he strained his back lifting weights.

“There was no way my body could recover in time to make it,” Hanson said. “I’ve struggled with my back for a while, and I hurt myself a week before I was supposed to leave. I felt like I had a pretty decent chance of making the team, but it didn’t happen.”

Things worked out for him, though. As he tried to figure out what to do next, K-State coaches asked if he wanted to help as a student assistant. Hanson did. Now he’s waiting until summer camp begins in August. That’s when he gets to start helping K-State again.

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