Chase Hansen reclaims starting spot after breaking his leg

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It was a remarkable transition for Chase Hansen in 2015.

From third string quarterback to starting safety, Hansen was developing into a star. But in his first start against Washington, after making a team-high 11 tackles against Washington, Hansen broke his leg on the final play of the game. His season was over.

But just nine months later, Hansen is back and has regained his starting spot.

“To be honest, I’m still in the process of coming back,” Hansen said. “I’ve got a long way to go. I have a lot to learn, physically and mentally. Just a lot to get up to speed, especially with this defense. If you’re not 110 percent, you’re left in the dust.”
 
“Very good,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said about Hansen’s progress. “Chase Hansen has been, not a surprise, but it’s great to see him back out there and has looked very good in the first five days of practice.”
 
Even though he had tremendous success at Lone Peak as a quarterback, leading the Knights to a state championship in 2011,  Hansen knew his best chance to see the field was as a safety. So, to become a starter on one of the top defenses in the country this quickly is pretty amazing.
 
“When I went to safety, I just wanted to play,” said Hansen, who played quarterback at Utah during his freshman season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. “At the time, I was just excited to play. There are definitely things I do miss about quarterback. But at the same time, I haven’t looked back since being a safety. There’s a lot I love about being a safety.”
 
For one, you get to hit the quarterback and not be the one who gets hit. So does he ever apologize for the damage he does to opposing QB’s since he knows their pain personally?
 
“No, but I did have to get out of the habit of being the nice guy,” Hansen said with a smile. “Sometimes at practice, when I first started I was a little bit too nice, and guys told me. I’ve come to learn that this is a nasty defense.”
 
To be able to make this comeback in front of his family and friends makes it even more worth it.
 
“It’s big for me,” said the Highland native. “It’s important, and there as much a part of it and excited about the season as I am.”

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