Not many people believed in Chad Hansen coming out of college. He had no offers and no stars to his name and started his career in Idaho State. After receiving his release, the interest only really came from Cal. More from Connor Letourneau:
In spring 2014, after receiving his release from Idaho State, Chad Hansen hardly needed to hear that teams didn’t think he was good enough to play major-college football. The lack of interest from Power Five conference programs told him all he needed to know.
Still, two of the coaches who saw his highlight video — one with Arizona State, the other with San Diego State — explicitly encouraged Hansen to reconsider leaving the Bengals. The message was blunt: His skills didn’t warrant the chance at a higher level.
Cal eventually found him though. More from Ryan Gorcey.
While the Aztecs wouldn't bite, Cal graduate assistant David Gru did. Of the 35 to 45 tapes Gru gets from hopeful recruits per week, Hansen's film stuck out. Then, he looked at Hansen's high school tape. He saw a first-team All-Marmonte League and Ventura County Choice in 2012, catching 49 balls for 882 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He saw an athlete who took home MVP honors in football and track, winning the Marmonte League title in the 100 meters (running a personal best 10.91 time at the CIF Southern Section Division 2 Prelims in 2013), and had a 4.47 40 time. That, Gru knew, he could work with. He took the film in to Dykes, and made his case. Gru got the go-ahead, and offered Hansen a walk-on spot. Hansen hasn't given the Bears any cause to regret that decision.
Now? Sky’s the limit.
Chad Hansen is the Pac-12 offensive player of the week, piling up 196 receiving yards on 12 catches, grabbing two touchdowns (including the game winner), and adding a two point conversion and a Horns Down for good measure.
It’s been a godly weekend for Hansen, who remains the best receiver in college football by a mile. Start the Biletnikoff watch now, because Hansen is setting the pace to start 2016.
- Tied for first in FBS in receptions (39)
- Tied for first in FBS in receiving touchdowns (5)
- First in FBS in receiving yards (536)
- First in FBS in yards per game (178.7)
A look back at some of Hansen’s best moments against Texas.
There was this insane catch along the sideline.
Cal's Chad Hansen is absurd. What a catch https://t.co/U7rlELJdus— Jack McGuire (@BigDaddysCourt) September 18, 2016
There was the famous Horns Down moment after a touchdown where Hansen looked up to the sky and grabbed it.
There was the game-winning touchdown.
There was this incredible two point conversion.
Congrats to Chad Hansen, currently the best wide receiver in college football. Cal will need him to keep it up! He’s been the focal point of our offense for three games, and it all paid off on Saturday night with one of the biggest upsets in Cal football history.