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BYU's all-time leading tackler Shad Hansen shares his loyalty, support for Ty Detmer

Offensive Coordinator Ty Detmer talks to his players after a BYU football practice in Provo on Thursday, August 10, 2017.
Offensive Coordinator Ty Detmer talks to his players after a BYU football practice in Provo on Thursday, August 10, 2017.
Kelsey Brunner, Deseret News

Shad Hansen, a former teammate of Ty Detmer, was one of BYU’s all-time leading tacklers back in the day. It is always interesting to see how loyal Detmer’s teammates have been to him through the decades since he won the Heisman and two Davey O’Brien awards, not to mention the Maxwell Award as the country’s best college quarterback.

I heard from Hansen this past weekend after he read my column on how Detmer has kept the door open with BYU and how relationships are solid after losing his job as offensive coordinator.

Hansen’s son Jake now plays linebacker for Illinois in the Big Ten. His head coach is Lovie Smith and his position coach and defensive coordinator is Hardy Nickerson. Illinois is where Dick Butkus went to school. Jake Hansen is recovering from an ACL injury but will be ready to go next season.

Shad Hansen came to the Cougars after attending a year at the Air Force Academy Prep School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Here is a portion of Hansen’s thoughts on Detmer via email:

“For me, during my time at BYU, he was BYU Football (and he still is). I can remember riding in parades with him one summer when his brother Koy was in town visiting. This is before Koy went on to be a great QB at Colorado and in the NFL, but during the parade, Ty and I were in our jerseys signing autographs and a 'fan' came up to Koy and asked him 'Who are you?', then Ty jumped in and said proudly, in a way that makes you feel important, the way that only Ty could do, 'he is my brother Koy!' As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I became invisible and everyone wanted Ty and Koy’s autograph because the Detmer name was, and is, linked to BYU Football and is a symbol of greatness! It always will be.”

Hansen, in true loyal form, went on to assert that BYU’s offensive troubles, and that of the four-win team, should not be considered “all on Ty,” but there were many factors, including not having the right pieces to fit the puzzle.

Hansen remains BYU’s all-time leading single-season tackler with 193. As an item of interest, the No. 2 guy on the list is Rocky Biegel at 192. Both got those numbers in the 1991 season while playing for inside linebacker coach Claude Bassett.