Chase Hansen as LB?

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    • #20815

      Ute Fan

      I was reading a post the other day (can’t remember by who) but they mentioned Chase Hansen would move to LB. I’ve heard this a few times over the past year. Why does everybody think this will happen or want this to happen? Is it because of his size? Or the lack of great LB play we had this past season after losing Paul and Norris?

      Admittedly, I’m not a film-watching or watch a game multiple times kind of fan; however, from what I see he is a fantastic play-making safety. Does he struggle in coverage? Would that be a reason people think he should be a LB? I also heard Whitt say once when asked the question, something like, “everybody wants him to be a LB but we think he is a pretty great safety”. That was a while back. Has he said something more recent that makes people think Chase will be a LB?

    • #20816

      Ute Fan

      I’ve been saying it all year and the reason why is Whitt says it every time he talks about Chase. 


      Chase has the ability to get bigger. Anytime you can bulk someone up and move them closer to the line of scrimmage you do it. 

      That’s where team speed comes in. You want to move safeties to LB, LB’ers to DL. 

    • #20817

      Ute Fan

      I’m not sure he has said it every time he talks about Chase, but you’re right. I just searched and he mentioned it in a DesNews article that it would be hypothetically down the road if he put on 20 lbs. but then he followed it up with saying that it wasn’t imminent and that he was all safety all the time. I’m sure he has mentioned it in radio interviews, etc. I just remember Whitt being pretty pleased with him at safety.

      What is the rationale behind moving everybody closer to the line of scrimmage? So, you can have more speed at LB? I think he is perfect where he is. He seems to have a knack for creating turnovers. I guess it just depends on where your depth is too. If we have great safeties ready to play and little depth at LB it would be better to get more athletes on the field.

      • #20820

        Ute Fan

        I’ve actually heard Kalani talk about this more, but you are right. Size and speed kill in football. It’s Utah is always talking about “bigger, faster, stronger”. 

        The thinking is, it is easier to put on weight than to make someone faster. So, if you have a kid like Hansen or Blechen, who can put on weight and get to LB’er weight, then they go from a very, very good safety to a special LB’er. Nate Orchard is another example. He was a WR in high school. You put weight on him and all the sudden you have a weapon. 

        Caleb Repp was supposed to be the next Orchard. He can’t/won’t put on weight. 

        Also, it is probably easier to find LB’ers and safeties in high school than DL. So, if you can find a two-three star kid who has blazing speed at the LB’er spot but has the frame to put on 40 lbs, all of the sudden you have a four star DE. 

        You want size and speed. Moving players closer to the line of scrimmage is the easiest way to have size and speed. 

        BUT, to your other point, if Marcus Williams comes back and we add that 4 star JC kid that signed with us earlier this week, then all of the sudden you have three very good safeties and one really good LB’er. If you can move Hansen up to LB’er with Luafatasaga, then all of the sudden you have one of the better starting LB’ers in the PAC-12. 


        • #20840

          Ute Fan

          All good points. It would be great to have his knack for creating TOs, etc. at the LB position as well. IMO, Gionni Paul had that same knack and was incredible last year. Also, with his versatility you could put him in different spots depending on opponents/matchups/etc.

          As far as NFL chances go, it’s possible he could be an NFL linebacker. But if he projects as an NFL safety, it would be interesting to see if there are examples of people having success in the NFL playing a different position than college. Seems like I’ve seen college DEs end up at outside LB in the NFL. Are there any examples of college LBs end up at safety?

          • #20843

            Ute Fan

            I have no idea on Hansen and the NFL. 

            Hansen is six foot three inches. So, he is tall enough. Hansen weighs in the 220’s. 

            Kyle Van Noy is six three, 240. 

            Von Miller is six three, 250.

            Telvin Smith is six three, 220. 

            Burflict is six one, 250. 

            Levy is six three, 230. 

            KJ Wright is six four, 240

            Thomas Davis is six one, 230

            Sean Lee is six two, 230

            Lavonte David is six one, 230

            So, looking at all those OLB’s that are top 10 in the NFL (Van Noy not withstanding), Hansen looks to project as a NFL LB more than a safety. 

    • #20819

      Ute Fan

      I made mention of it in a post a day or so ago. My rationale came from two ideas:

      1) You want to put the best 11 players you have on the field on either side of the ball.

      2) We saw Chase slide up closer to the LoS toward the end of the season when we started running with 5 on the DL. My guess this is primarily because we lost Cody Barton and Sunia Taoteoli from those LB spots and were very thin at that position.

      I’m no team insider, I was simply floating the idea out there that if that kid can come in and play immediately, and Marcus doesn’t go pro, we’d want to keep Chase on the field as well, possibly in a LB spot.

    • #20838

      Milton Vanderslice
      Ute Fan

      Chase has a shot in the NFL as a Safety.  Wouldn’t a move to LB kill his NFL chances?

    • #20842

      Ute Fan

      I love the the though of his athleticism at LB. His cover skills would also be awesome at that spot (graded as he number one safety in coverage against slot WRs). Not sure he is a good enough tackler though (to be fair that was a sickness throughout our entire D last year

      • #20850

        Ute Fan

        His ability (or struggle) to tackle in open space is a big reason he struggles as a safety. I still can’t believe Utah had the 3rd highest missed tackle % in all of FBS this season.

    • #20853

      Ute Fan

      Move him to LB. That’s our weakest spot. Move a strength to a weakness. He’s got the build to add the weight. He’s got 2 more years to play.

    • #20971

      Ute Fan

      I was watching the replays from the season and just realized how big Chase really is. I think it’s because of his size, besides think how dominant he could be at that position with his speed. That would be one hella LB if we had enough on the back end without him.

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