Utah safety Chase Hansen (22) celebrates making a sack with lineman Kylie Fitts (11) during a Pac-12 football game versus the Oregon State Beavers at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

When Chase Hansen made the switch from quarterback to safety, nobody knew just how dominate he was going to be. In 2016, Hansen wreaked havoc on opposing offensives. The expectations and goals he has for himself and the team are even higher in 2017.

“For myself, I do have a lot of expectations,” Hansen said. “As a team we have a lot of expectations, [but] as long as we’re winning and I’m helping the team win, that’s where I’m at.”

The chance to become a hometown hero is something Hansen is thankful for, as he was raised in Utah.

“When I made the decision it was tough because I was kinda a BYU kid,” Hansen said. “But my parents, my brothers, a lot of my family and friends; they jumped right on board and they let me know that they were there for me.”

Hansen tries to focus on only the goals and expectations that he has set for himself. Focusing on what others expect of him distracts him from becoming better for himself and the team.

His main focus during spring ball has been to improve in a bunch of different areas and he wants to become the best athlete he can.

“Becoming a more complete player, being able to understand the defense as a whole and really mastering the different positions on the field that I’ve been playing [is a goal of mine],” Hansen said. “I want to be a better cover guy, I want to be better in the post, be more agile and be more flexible.”

Last season alone, Hansen started in all 13 games, he led the team with 90 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss. He had three interceptions, forced three fumbles and had four fumble recoveries.

The work ethic that Hansen has is something he credits to serving a church mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brisbane, Australia.

“There’s a lot of things I learned on the mission that helped me learn how to be disciplined, how to sacrifice,” Hansen said. “[I] learned how to work for the things I’m trying to get, set goals, make plans, being efficient with my time.”

Those same things carry over on the football field exceptionally well. His leadership and attitude on the football field set him apart. The Utes’ defense is something everyone knows about. The tenacity it constantly brings is undeniable.

Even with players graduating and others leaving for the NFL Draft, Hansen is excited about what the defense is looking like for the upcoming season and has already noticed a difference.

“[There is] an overall excitement from the whole defense,” Hansen said. “The guys, ones, twos, threes, it seems like there is an energy, a work ethic and a mentality with the defense. It is mean, it is nasty, it’s selfless and it’s about winning. It’s about the team.”

As spring ball is getting close to finishing up with the Red and White game on Saturday, Hansen reflected on his time at Utah and what the opportunity to be a Ute has meant to him.

“This university has been a massive blessing for me,” Hansen said. “Being able to be around Coach [Mogan] Scalley and Coach [Sharrieff] Shah as much as I have been [is] an even bigger blessing. I feel like I’ve not only grown up since the mission or maturity-wise, but I feel like there’s a lot of things I’ve learned outside of football. The importance of doing everything the right way, there’s a lot of life lessons that I’ve taken from the coaches, from the players, and there’s a lot of friendships that I’ve built.”



Carra McManamon is a sports writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle where she covers a variety of sports. She has interned with Deseret News Sports where she mainly covered college football. Carra currently is a ESPNU Campus Rep and also contributes for Ute Nation on Rivals.com.


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