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10 Biggest Spring Questions: No. 5 What Position Does Chase Hansen Play?

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Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Spring practice starts in less than a week. In the run up to the start of spring football, we will be looking at the 10 biggest questions. We have already taken a look at several questions, and next up is looking at what position Chase Hansen will play. We already looked at Hansen in this article on how he will recover from a season-ending leg injury. It is possible Hansen may not play much in spring since his leg injury was later in the 2015 season. If he has healed enough to play in spring, his position will be an area of intrigue.

Hansen led Lone Peak High School to a State Championship as a senior quarterback. He came to Utah as an athlete, redshirting in his freshman season due to a shoulder injury. He then left to go on a two-year LDS Church Mission. Hansen arrived back at Utah prior to spring camp last year. He started off at quarterback, which many thought was just a formality before he switched to defense. However, Hansen proved everyone wrong, shooting up the depth chart to the No. 3 quarterback behind seniors Travis Wilson and Kendal Thompson (both of whom had starting experience). Hansen entered fall camp and the 2015 season at quarterback. He even saw playing time at quarterback in the games at Fresno State and at Oregon. Starting against Cal, Hansen starting seeing playing time at special teams and strong safety. He got one start at strong safety at Washington. He however suffered a season-ending leg injury on the last play of that game.

Hansen's versatility has given Utah a good problem: what position should he play? He showed enough athleticism to play strong safety last season. He showed the ability in spring and fall camp that he could play quarterback. How he recovers from his leg injury could partially dictate what position he plays. Personally, while I think he could be a good quarterback, his future is brightest on defense. I believe he could make the NFL on defense. Hansen went from not playing any defense to starting and playing well at strong safety in a manner of weeks. With how thin Utah is at linebacker, Hansen could end up at linebacker especially if his leg injury costs him some speed. He would need to add some weight (he is only 212 pounds), but he has a great frame to add bulk. Utah needs a new strong safety as well with Tevin Carter having graduated. Hansen is smart and a natural leader.

Utah signed two excellent quarterback prospects in the 2016 recruiting class: JUCO transfer Troy Williams and Tyler Huntley (who was the Gatorade Player of the Year for the State of Florida). Redshirt junior Brandon Cox could also challenge for the starting quarterback job. Hansen does not have the passing skills that the other three quarterbacks have. Hansen showed better accuracy and arm strength in spring than people expected. He also showed off his athleticism with several impressive runs. Hansen could play quarterback and would likely be decent, but he could best help the team and his future by playing defense.

We will see how things play out in spring. I would expect Hansen to start out at quarterback before switching permanently to defense. What position do you think Chase Hansen will play?

10 Biggest Spring Questions:

No. 10 How will the Offensive Line Position Battles Shake Out?

No. 9 How will the Defense Change Under Morgan Scalley?

No. 8 What New Schemes Will Be Incorporated into the Offense?

No. 7 How do Siale Fakailoatonga, Chase Hansen, Troy McCormick, and Tim Patrick Return from Injuries

No. 6 Who will be the Surprise Player of Spring?