I'm writing some positional outlooks for our beloved Buffaloes. They are based on what I've read and seen of the players we've got.
(Analysis after the jump)
****This was written a few weeks ago, before it was announced that Hansen was named the starting QB****
The big question last year, and again this year, is who will win the QB battle. Tyler Hansen will. He apparently has turned himself into more of a pocket passer over the off-season. His footwork in camp does look a little bit better and his timing has been solid. He also is getting his passes out quicker than Cody Hawkins has.
- Cody Hawkins, Sr
- He's the son-of-Hawk and he holds the CU record for TD passes in a career. Of course, he also holds the record for career INTs. He took the team to a Bowl game his sophomore season, and nearly engineered a comeback. He also has been benched halfway through each of the last two seasons.
- Tyler Hansen, Jr
- He has taken over for Cody Hawkins each of the last two seasons, burning his red-shirt to do it. He's a threat to run, but is too quick to tuck the ball away and go for it, instead of finding the open man. His increased patience this season should pay dividends, as should his extra work with the first team this offseason.
- Nick Hirschman, Fr (enrolled early)
- He's a prototypical pocket passer from Southern California. Spent the entire spring with the team and learned the system. He's got a big arm, but he needs to work on his footwork. He will most likely redshirt this year. He has surprisingly good pocket-awareness, and stepped up to avoid some pressure pretty deftly during the Fall scrimmage.
- Justin Gorman, Fr (walkon)
- Gorman began the fall practicing at WR but has been moved back to QB. The coaches still aren't sure where to play him, but he's a talented football player who will work his butt off to see the field at any position.
Tyler Hansen will be the Buffaloes QB. Offensive Coordinator Eric Kiesau will let them battle it out, but Hansen will prove himself. From all accounts, he's taken the necessary measures during the off-season to take hold of the position. And it won't hurt to have a guy who took our team to a bowl game as the backup. And we've got Hischman to simulate guys like Cal's Kevin Riley OU's Landry Jones on the scout team. Hansen is poised to have a solid year, with an improved O-line and an OC in Kiesau who was still figuring things out after taking over for Helfrich just before fall camp opened last year. Gorman will play the important 3rd QB role, though, to make sure we don't have to burn Hirschman's red-shirt. We don't want to make the same mistake we've made twice with Hansen.
****He has been talking the talk since being named the starter, now we just have to see if he can walk the walk. I believe he can, and I think he will have a very good season. There are a ton of options for him, not to mention his ability to run with it in a pinch (or when they call for it). Our Offense should be able to roll will Hansen at the helm****
Tyler Hansen looks like he'll get two seasons of starting before he turns the reins over to an unknown. I don't think there's any way he leaves early (even if he has an all-world season), though there's always the chance that he gets injured. But either way, we'll be looking at a new QB in 2012. Competing for that role will be Nick Hirschman and possibly two guys who are committed to us right now in Brock Berglund and Nick Sherry. Hirschman will have the leg up as a third-year sophomore who will have had three spring semesters under his belt already, and he looks like the QB of the future. He's got a big arm, he will get a bunch of time to develop chemistry with the guys he'll be throwing to, and the guy he'll be taking snaps from (most likely Shawn Daniels or Gus Handler, the third and fourth guys at OC respectively). And there's even a chance he takes the spot from Tyler next off-season...
If you have any questions or additional comments or insights, please feel free to email me at: David.Gerhardt@gmail.com