Spring top 12: Tyler Hansen

It took only a few practices for Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen to settle in to the Buffs' new West Coast, pro style offense this spring. He plays the most important position on the field and distributes the ball on every play. His level of efficiency and accuracy and the fact he won the starting job five months before the season starts made him the top Buff of spring football.

The new Colorado coaching staff went into spring ball with several areas of emphasis for their quarterbacks, particularly Tyler Hansen.

They wanted quick decisions, accurate throws and avoiding sacks whenever possible.

Considering he was coming off a junior season in which he threw as many interceptions (six) as touchdowns and was sacked 16 times in 61/2 games before suffering a season-ending injury, Hansen took those areas of emphasis to heart.

He stopped trying to make as many plays with his feet and learned to throw the ball away more often, avoiding interceptions and sacks in the process.

Hansen said in the past he has tried to fit balls into tight coverage more often than he should have. He said he is learning to not take as many chances, but there will always be times when his competitive spirit takes over.

"There are certain times when you throw a ball and it might be tight coverage but you trust the receiver that he will make a play," Hansen said. "Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. Such is life.

"I've got to get in with coach (Rip) Scherer and coach (Eric) Bieniemy and understand what situations call for that type of throw."

Hansen threw five touchdown passes in the three main spring scrimmages without throwing an interception. However, it's only fair to point out that there were several opportunities for his defensive teammates to make interceptions on Hansen's throws, but they didn't come up with the play.

He also completed 74 percent of his passes in those scrimmages and did not take a sack.

Coaches couldn't have asked for more from him when it came to meeting expectations in those areas they chose to emphasize. No interceptions and no sacks in three scrimmages earned him the starting job.

If Hansen is able to play at or close to that level of efficiency when the lights come on in the fall, he will give his chance a much better chance at reaching the postseason for the first time since 2007.

"There were a couple plays I made this spring that were dumb throws," Hansen said. "I'll admit it. They were dumb decisions and (Scherer) got after me for those. He said as a senior, I can't make those mental errors and critical errors that quarterbacks make in games. I have to be efficient and know where to go with the ball.

"I think for the most part this spring, I was like that, I performed that way, but there were a coupld throws where I could have been smarter."

Want to read past editions of the Spring top 12?

Daniel Munyer

Josh Hartigan

Nick Hirschman

Kyle Slavin

Paul Richardson

Jack Harris

Tony Jones

Rodney Stewart

Conrad Obi

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