This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Meet Chase Hansen. The Lone Peak quarterback recently won a Class 5A title, has a 3.98 GPA, passed for
What's that? You already know? Of course you do. How could anyone have missed Hansen this fall, with the way he bulldozed over defenders, ticked off yards like inches and displayed unmatched toughness?
Hansen was the most electric player in high school football this season. And, as an extension, the most virtual always on TV, the radio, talked about on message boards.
"He can start for the Utes right now," University of Utah fans opine regularly on Twitter and wherever else there is room for a heaping pile of adoration for the 18-year-old.
Here are the facts: He led Class 5A in total rushing yards (1,404) and was one of just two 5A QBs to pass for more than 3,000 yards. He led Lone Peak to wins over two-time defending champions Bingham, a dangerous Jordan team and, in the championship game, last year's runner-up, Fremont.
Hansen may have become a hero in his second game at Lone Peak in 2010, when he rushed for 256 yards and led the Knights to a win over Mountain Crest at Rice-Eccles Stadium. But a quarterback?
"I don't feel like I established myself as a quarterback until we won it just recently," he said. "Everybody has different opinions, and I hear that and it's almost like until we won that I wasn't really going to be a D-1 quarterback."
He will be. The Utes have enough confidence in Hansen that they asked him to delay his LDS Church mission just long enough that he would be able to compete for the starting job next fall.
That said, Hansen is still considered a good candidate to be switched to defense. He played safety at Lone Peak, and often was the best player on that side of the ball as well.
If Hansen can't play quarterback right away, Utes coach Kyle Whittingham may have a hard time justifying not playing him at another position.
Hansen went to Utah, though, because he wanted to be a quarterback.
"I still have a ways to go with playing quarterback," he said.
A long way to go? A long way up.
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