A dedicated ESPNHS POY team managed the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the awards program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character. For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Chase Hansen
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
Weight: 210 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Hansen led the Knights to a 14-0 record and the Class 5A state championship this past season. He passed for 3,090 yards and 38 touchdowns, completing 192-of-317 attempts. A returning Class 5A Second Team All-State selection as named by the Deseret News, Hansen also rushed for 1,410 yards and 17 touchdowns on 181 carries. In a 41-21 shootout against Fremont (Ogden, Utah) in the state title game, he completed 16-of-31 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
Academic excellence: Hansen has maintained a 3.89 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth football instructor, Hansen has volunteered as a peer tutor for special education students and as part of multiple community-service initiatives on behalf of his church.
THE PRAISE: David Peck, head coach of rival Bingham (South Jordan, Utah)
“He is a great athlete and an even better person. He runs like he is the best running back in the state, he is a very intelligent quarterback with a great arm and plays with the spirit of a lion. I think he is the best QB that I have had to prepare against in my 28 years as a high school coach.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Hansen has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Utah beginning in the fall of 2012.