Chase Hansen is a 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound athlete who could play any number of positions, but has focused on quarterback this year. Having transferred over from American Fork, he’s been able to drop back in a more traditional style at Lone Peak.
Hansen caught the attention of local recruiters very early, as he was met with offers from both BYU and Utah. Both schools have offered him as an athlete while he decides which position suits him best.
So far, he’s beginning to feel comfortable playing at quarterback.
“It’s been great and I feel I’ve made a ton of strides in learning how to play like a quarterback,” he said. “I still don’t know if I’m going to try to play quarterback in college or play defense, but I definitely feel more comfortable playing quarterback than I did at the start of the season.”
Even though he’s made the strides that he has in being a straight drop-back quarterback, Hansen hasn’t ignored his other athletic skills. Most games have seen him be at least as effective in running the football as he is at throwing it.
Hansen’s ability to make plays on the ground has especially shown during tight games.
“There’s been a few games where coaches have just told me to make plays any way I can, so I’ve done that,” he explained. “I guess it’s just me still being a guy who loves to play defense. I love contact and hitting guys, so on offense, it’s a bit of the same, I guess. I like getting in the open field and challenging guys. I love that part of the game.”
Hansen is just thankful for any opportunity to play this year, as he wasn’t cleared to play for Lone Peak until just weeks before the first game of the year. Having transferred over from American Fork, the powers that be voted him ineligible for his junior year.
“I couldn’t believe it when it happened,” he recalled. “I didn’t think I had done anything wrong and thought it would be great to play at Lone Peak, which is the school I should be attending. I didn’t really understand why they did what they did, but I’m glad that it worked out.”
He prepared the entire offseason as if he was going to play, and remembers fondly the moment he found out that he was eligible.
“I remember just running to the practice field and just playing again, which was a great feeling,” he said. “It was a huge relief obviously, and we went through a lot trying to get the decision overturned, so when it was overturned I was just really excited and thankful.”
Hansen immediately assumed the starting quarterback position and quickly took to his teammates as they took to him. One player in particular stood out to Hansen in super sophomore Talon Shumway.
Shumway is a lot like Hansen athletically in both his physical makeup, versatility and attitude.
“I got to know Talon a bit before the season and I was always impressed with how athletic he was,” noted Hansen. “I really don’t think any of us knew just how good he was going to be. I mean, he’s incredible - the things he’s able to do on the field of play. He’s just a special athlete that really contributes to everything we do as a team.”
Shumway’s contributions came to the forefront when Hansen was hurt early on during the season. Shumway stepped into his spot and the team didn’t miss much of a beat.
“He did a phenomenal job for us and he’s still doing a great job in anything he does,” said Hansen. “Talon is obviously great, but everyone has really stepped up this year and has made us a successful team.”
During the time Hansen was out, it dawned on him just how tough it would have been to have to sit the entire season.
“It was really hard, but fortunately is was just for a few games,” he said. “While I was out, it really hit me how much I loved football and how much I love to compete. Sitting out at anytime is tough. I couldn’t imagine having to sit out the entire season.”
Hansen still doesn’t know which position he’ll pursue at the next level, but will think a lot about that following the season. Regardless of which position he opts for, he’ll undoubtedly have a good selection of schools to choose from.
BYU and Utah stand as his two solid offers, but that could and should change once he begins the combine and camp circuit this coming offseason.
“BYU has probably been recruiting me the hardest,” he said. “They go to a lot of my games and I’ve been to a few of their games down there. I talk to their coaches a lot, especially Coach Doman, and I really like BYU.”
Hansen has obviously been aware of BYU’s uncommon struggles this season, but is confident that they’ll turn it around.
“BYU’s a great football program with great coaches, so yeah, I’m confident that they’ll turn it around to be sure,” he explained. “Obviously I’d like it better if they were playing great, but overall, I’m going to commit to the school and program that fits me best. That’s the most important thing.”
Hansen has liked what he’s seen in Utah this year and will strongly consider the offer in hand from head coach Kyle Whittingham and his staff.
“Utah’s a great program too and they’re obviously having a great season,” he noted. “Playing quarterback there or any other position would be great. With them playing so well and BYU struggling, it’s probably brought Utah up a bit in my mind, but I obviously have a long way to go until I decide.”
Like most recruits, Hansen hopes to choose by the time his senior season starts. That season could very well start with Lone Peak defending a state championship, as it is certainly one of the top five 5A programs in the state along with Bingham, Fremont, Davis and Cottonwood.
“We’ve had a great year and we definitely want to win state,” Hansen said. “I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to not just play, but to play for such a great team as Lone Peak.”