As expected, Tyler Hansen has been named the starting quarterback of the 2011 Colorado Buffaloes. Much less expected however, were the names of the five Buffalo players who will not be joining him next season.
Embree also announced that five players will not be returning to the team this fall, including two for medical reasons, senior offensive guard Max Tuioti-Mariner and junior receiver Will Jefferson. Both have knee injuries, and in Tuioti-Mariner's case, he has undergone multiple surgeries that has prevented him from playing since early in the 2008 season, when he had worked his way into the starting lineup prior to tearing an ACL in practice after just three games.
Junior defensive end Forrest West and redshirt freshmen tight ends Henley Griffon and Harold Mobley will also not return.
We knew that Tuioti-Mariner's return was going to be an uphill battle, but we did not expect that he would be hanging it up so early. Jefferson played in Saturday's spring game and was targeted multiple times. Forrest West was a player that many of us thought could turn into at least a solid starter, but it looks like it wasn't to be. Some pretty shocking information that is going to need to be digested on this Tuesday afternoon...
More quotes about Hansen after the jump...
"Tyler did a great job all spring," Embree said. "He has command of everything you need to have at quarterback and has also developed into a team leader. This was a goal of his heading into the spring and I'm happy that he was able to attain that goal."
The 6-1, 210-pound three-year letterman from Murietta, Calif., was named CU's starter prior to the start of last season, but had his year cut short when he suffered a ruptured spleen against Texas Tech in the seventh game. He had completed 112-of-164 passes for 1,102 yards, with six touchdowns and six interceptions and a 129.5 rating. His completion percentage of 68.3 set a school record for minimums of both 100 and 150 passes in a single season, breaking the old mark of 65.1 by Joel Klatt in 2003; Klatt still owns the marks for minimums of 200 and 250 throws. Hansen's 2,822 career yards rank 11th all-time at Colorado.
"I'm excited about the challenge," Hansen said. "I'm looking forward to getting into more of a leadership role in the summer, getting even more familiar with the playbook, organizing the seven-on-seven sessions, and concentrating on our first and foremost goal to beat Hawai'i (CU's season opener on Sept. 3 in Honolulu). I feel like I am playing smarter, I'm making better decisions, knowing when to throw the ball away instead of taking a sack, where to go with the ball based on coverages and knowing when to pull the ball down and run."
"I thought that he grew a lot faster with the offense than I had anticipated," quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer said. "He had a solid performance for the most part starting from day one through day 15 in spring practice, and he really gives us a chance at quarterback.