As a receiver last year for Lone Peak High
School, Jacob Hannemann caught only 19 passes but managed to score seven touchdowns despite playing a limited offensive role. Coming in at 6 feet 1 inch and 190 pounds, he was asked to play cornerback this past season after being hand-timed running a 4.44 forty by his high school coach and laser-timed at a 4.5.
"I was normally a wide receiver but this past year they didn't have any cornerbacks, so I played cornerback with my little brother [Kyle Hannemann] this past year," he said. "I played cornerback 100 percent of the time and then rotated in with the receivers.
Hannemann was signed his LOI to play football for BYU as a cornerback. However, he might not end up playing corner when it's all said and done.
"BYU recruited me as a cornerback, but because of my size they wanted to transfer me over to safety," Hannemann said. "This past season [at Lone Peak] I wanted to play safety but they needed me to play cornerback, so I did."
His size, speed and athleticism make him an attractive prospect for the safety position. Those attributes are also why he's excelled at various positions in multiple sports.
"I've just been playing baseball now that football is over here at Lone Peak," Hannemann said. "I've pretty much been playing baseball all my life and just can't give it up quite yet."
Like with football, Jacob Hannemann excels in baseball.
"I play center field and have a pretty strong arm," Hannemann said. "My arm is still getting stronger, but I just have a lot of speed and can cover a lot of ground when getting to the ball. I think that's one of my strengths is being able to get to the ball.”
But that's not his only strength.
"I'm also a pretty good hitter too," he said. "I'm the leadoff batter for my team right now. My batting average right now is .580, so I'm a pretty good hitter. I was born in Hawaii and all kids did growing up was play baseball. When you got to high school, that's when you start playing football."
It was Hannemann’s abilities as a baseball player that first caught the eye of Cougar coaches, with those coaches being on the Cougar baseball staff
"I actually got my baseball scholarship at BYU before I got my football scholarship," he said. "Coach Roberts was the one that recruited me and then Coach Law brought me in this last summer and offered me a scholarship to play baseball.”
At the time, Hannemann was a bit of an unknown commodity as a football player.
"Before anyone even knew that I played football I got the scholarship to play baseball at BYU,” said Hannemann. “The reason is I didn't play football my junior year because I had knee surgery. Usually that's when coaches begin recruiting and nobody even knew who I was in football because of that."
After Hannemann got back out on the football field his senior year, BYU’s football staff was able to take note of his abilities.
"It was after the football season when they offered me, but they were kind of looking at me and getting to know me about halfway through the season, I'd say," he said. "It was after the season that they brought me in and talked to me and then offered me a scholarship right there. This all happened during my senior season after recovering from my injury during my junior season."
With Hannemann having played baseball more than football throughout his life, the million dollar question is then: Why choose to play football over baseball?
"I love playing both sports," Hannemann said. "Football is more exciting, but baseball comes more natural to me. I can still improve more in football, and I don't think I've hit my peak yet with football. I'm very excited to play football for BYU, very excited. “
However, still playing baseball at BYU isn't out of the picture.
"When I was talking to the football coaches I told them that I didn't want to quite give up baseball," Hannemann said. "I love baseball but I've always wanted to play BYU football. Coach Mendenhall told me that maybe they could work something out where I could try and do both. My football scholarship is a full-ride and my baseball scholarship is around 40 percent."
Attempting to play both sports while tackling the academic load at BYU will have to wait for Hannemann, however. He recently got his mission call to Little Rock, Arkansas and will report to the MTC on July 7.
“ I'm really pumped about it and just glad it's English speaking, you know. I'm really excited to get out there and have always wanted to go."