'I feel plenty safe': Illinois LB Jake Hansen comfortable with return to football during pandemic
Illinois linebacker Jake Hansen was pretty straightforward about his comfort level in regards to playing a college football season in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. On campus, Hansen says he feels safe.
Thursday, Hansen met with reporters after Illinois hit the field for fall camp, the first day of practice for the program. The linebacker says he doesn’t have an concerns about playing football this season, and believes the school has been very diligent in implementing proper health and safety protocols for student-athletes, coaches and staff.
“I feel plenty safe,” Hansen said, according to Jeremy Werner of Illini Inquirer. “I think we’re more safe here than at home, to be honest.”
Hansen also says he has no reservations about playing football this year.
College football is in a unique spot as it attempts to return this fall. While most schools have implemented measures to ensure the safety and well-being of student-athletes, there are still some programs that have dealt with outbreaks.
Six B1G programs — Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Rutgers — halted workouts temporarily at one point during the summer out of an abundance of caution. Michigan State and Rutgers were forced to quarantine their entire teams for 14 days.
Players are having to make sacrifices like they haven’t had to before. Giving up a normal student life is one of the trade-offs in ensuring that there’s a season this fall.
“It comes down to everyone thinking of other people instead of themselves,” Hansen said, according to Joey Wagner of the Herald and Review.
Hansen feels comfortable on campus and returning to practice. And assuming the season begins on Sept. 3, the linebacker will feel comfortable sharing a field with Ohio State to open the year.