La Salle's Hansen signs with Falcons


Former University of Rhode Island and La Salle Academy linebacker Matt Hansen signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons today. Hansen will report to Falcons camp on Friday to compete for roster spot at training camp.

“I am so excited for this opportunity,” Hansen said in a press release from URI. “I couldn’t be more excited to get down to Atlanta to compete at the professional level.”

The Providence, R.I. native finished his career at URI as the school's all-time leading tackler with 401 stops, surpassing Paul Picciotti's career mark which was set back in 2001.

In 2010, Hansen led the Rams with 114 tackles, was third on the team in tackles for loss (eight) and tied for third on the squad with two fumble recoveries. His 114 tackles marked the third-consecutive season in which he had recorded 100-plus tackles in a single season.

Following the year, Hansen was selected as a New England All-Star and was named to the All-CAA Second Team.

He also anchored a defensive unit, which ranked third in the league against the run, limiting opponents to just 126.4 yards per game on the ground. URI's defensive unit also gained a league-best 13 fumbles.

This past fall, the Rhode Island football team picked up four wins in the highly competitive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and posted a 4-1 record at Meade Stadium - their best mark at home since 2001.

Hansen was a three-year letterwinner for La Salle head coach Geoff Marcone, and garnered first team all-state honors as a senior captain in 2007 after rushing 89 times for 1,350 yards and 17 touchdowns to go with 83 tackles and four interceptions. He was also the state's Gatorade Player of the Year that year. He helped lead La Salle to a division championship in 2007 and the state championship game in 2005 and 2006.