Colorado hasn't produced an NFL draft pick at quarterback since Koy Detmer was selected in 1997 by Philadelphia in the seventh round.
Tyler Hansen hopes to beat the long odds and end the drought.
Hansen recently hired Denver-based agent Peter Schaffer and renowned trainer Loren Landow with his eye on convincing scouts and the general manager of at least one NFL team to believe in him and give him an opportunity to continue his career at the highest level. He doesn't care which team it is.
Hansen will have a huge opportunity to make that impression later this month in Florida at the East-West Shrine game.
He received a late Christmas present when he checked his email the day after Christmas and found his invitation to participate in the game Jan. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"It's an important week for me," Hansen said. "I'll have a chance to showcase what I can do in front of all the pro teams. Every single pro team is going to be there. The week of practice is really important, more important than the game actually."
Former CU guard Ryan Miller also has been invited to play in the game.
The National Football Post ranks Hansen as the 22nd best quarterback in the draft.
The website's scouting report on Hansen questions whether he has all the physical tools or the toughness to play at the next level.
It begins its breakdown of Hansen this way: "A short, undersized quarterback who lacks ideal size and has a tough time seeing over the line of scrimmage at times."
Hansen finished his career in November ranked third in CU annals in attempts and completions and fourth in passing yards (5,705) and touchdowns (36).
He said he hopesto improve his overall strength numbers between now and pro timing day at CU in early March. He said he also hopes to add a little arm strength and prove to scouts he can make all the throws necessary in the NFL.
"There is a couple months here before the draft and you can change your stock drastically," Hansen said. "You can go way up or you can do way down based on how you perform and based on how you interview.
"... I haven't really paid attention to any of those ratings. I'm listening to my agent and he's going to do everything in his power to get me on a team."
Hansen has no shortage of friends, former coaches and family members who can provide advice and encouragement, too.
He has talked with CU coach Jon Embree, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and quarterbacks coach RipScherer, all of whom have experience in the NFL, about the process he will face over the next four months.
He also has talked with former CU wide receiver Scotty McKnight, who was a surprise seventh-round pick by the New York Jets last spring.
McKnight suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in October as a member of the Jets' practice squad.
Hansen's father, Rick, also went through the draft process after his playing career ended at San Diego State in 1983. Rick Hansen went undrafted but signed with the Chicago Bears as a free agent and nearly made the team. He was cut on the final day of training camp that year.
"He just said everything you do is being evaluated," Hansen said of his father's advice. "Whether it's how you carry yourself outside of football, everything you do is being watched. So you have to be perfect in every aspect because they're going to invest a lot of money in you and a lot of time in you, and you've got to be worth that investment."
A handful of his former teammates, such as Rodney Stewart, Evan Harrington and Josh Hartigan have decided to stay in Denver and train with Landow alongside Hansen.