January 23, 2008

Another talented QB headed to Boulder

Just 33 years old, Mark Helfrich has already developed the reputation as one of the top quarterback tutors in college football. He has coached three quarterbacks that have been selected in the NFL Draft and he also recruited Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter to Arizona State.

Since joining the Buffaloes' staff as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Helfrich has helped bring Cody Hawkins and Matt Ballenger to campus.

Hawkins threw for more than 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman.

Ballenger, who redshirted this fall, drew praise from Dan Fouts. The Hall-of-Fame quarterback and ABC play-by-play announcer was impressed watching Ballenger during practices leading up to CU's game against Florida State.

The latest quarterback prospect to receive the stamp of approval from Helfrich?

Tyler Hansen, a 6-foot-1, 200-pounder from Chaparral High School in Temecula, California.

Hansen received a scholarship offer from Colorado after showing well at their camp last June. He verbally committed to the Buffaloes just days after receiving the offer.

"Colorado came by the school in the spring and liked what they saw and they took our DVD," recalls Temecula head coach Tommy Leach. "I just love Tyler and what he does and what he is all about so I talked him up so much. I think that ended up being a negative because they backed off a little bit. But when he went to the camp at Colorado, they saw what I told them.

"Tyler is just a spectacular quarterback. Fundamentally there is not a better quarterback in California. You can name anybody, including Matt Barkley from Mater Dei. Tyler's dad has coached him up. His dad played at San Diego State. Tyler is just sound; his footwork, throwing, his ability to read defenses, everything.

After Hansen committed to the Buffs, Coach Leach received calls from UCLA, Boise State and Utah asking how solid his pledge was.

"I know Coach Hawkins' son [Cody] is there and he'll probably redshirt his first year there, but Tyler is going to be ready to compete," Leach added.

As a junior and senior in high school, Hansen threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also showed off his athleticism by rushing for more than 500 yards last fall.

"Tyler's stats as a senior weren't through the roof just because we didn't ask him to throw a lot," Coach Leach explained. "We kind of changed our offense and we were really inexperienced at the wide receiver and running back positions. Still, when it was time to throw and we put the ball in Tyler's hands, he was money.

"Tyler managed the game and led us to five comeback victories in the last minute. So he really had a better year as a senior, just not statistically. He had a better year leadership wise and just being a football player. We just didn't ask him to throw it as much."

Despite having a large number of inexperienced players around him last fall, Hansen was named his league's offensive MVP and he led his team an appearance in the CIF Division III semifinals.

Hansen will sign with the Buffs on February 6th. He plans to enroll at CU for summer school in June.

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