GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – He never played a down of football his senior season of high school, but that didn’t prevent a local university from offering Cole Hannum a full-ride scholarship.

Hannum signed with Sacramento State at a ceremony at Nevada Union High School on Wednesday during National Signing Day.

As a junior at Marysville High, Hannum slipped through tackles in what seemed like play after play. He found the end zone 18 times. He was one of the best running backs and linebackers in the area.

But for his final year Cole would transfer to Nevada Union.

“It’s a good school all around and my dad had an opportunity to work up here so we just decided to come play up here,” he said

But that did not sit well with the folks at Marysville, and they filed an appeal.

Even though Cole’s dad moved to nearby Penn Valley, the Sac-Joaquin Section ruled Cole could not play for the Miners because the 240-pound senior went to a Nevada Union football camp before filing to play for the new school.

“I never even knew that was going to be an issue at all,” he said. “I never knew I wasn’t even going to get a chance to play.”

Marysville eventually pulled its complaint, but it was too late. Cole would never be cleared to play.

Instead, he stood on the sideline and watched his team play each Friday night. As the weeks passed so did Cole’s hopes of playing in college, but one school was still interested.

“The more we started to evaluate him and get to know him and being around him, he was just a super young man,” Sac State coach Marshall Sperbeck said.

Sac State was so confident in Cole’s ability the Hornets gave him a full-ride scholarship.

“It was a kind of a big weight off my chest and a big relief,” Hannum said.

His mom says the pain of not being able to see her son play last fall now appears to have all been worth it.

“Sometimes there are fights worth fighting for, and Cole is very calm and he just took it with a grain of salt and figured it was meant to be,” Sabrina Hannum said.

So now the next time he gets ready in the locker room, he will be suiting up for a chance to take the field with the Division I Sacramento State Hornets.


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