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Buffs Preview 2014: Breaking down the quarterback position

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Can Sefo be the guy for the Buffs?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The lack of wins for the Buffs in recent years has been in a big part because of the inconsistent and sometimes downright awful play by the quarterbacks. Tyler Hansen in 2011 was the last time Colorado was solid at the position, and even he had a losing record as a starter and no bowl appearances.

However, things look to be different in 2014 and a new era has begun. Sefo Liufau, a true freshman last season, came in against Arizona State, thrown to the wolves to start at quarterback for the Buff when he had just been throwing passes, attending prom and still popping zits at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Wash. Liufau passes the eye test for a young quarterback. At 6-4, 225 lbs., he has been named a captain, which is very impressive for a true sophomore and shows that his teammates are behind him and believe in him, unlike with others in the past.

Buffs Preview 2014

Although likely Liufau has the position locked up for now, competition in fall ball will be pushing him to keep playing at a high level. JUCO Quarterback Jordan Gehrke gave Liufau a run for his money this spring by showcasing good accuracy and athleticism. Gehrke will compete for second team reps with newly signed California high school standout Cade Apsay and equipment manager turned walk-on, Trent Sessions. Right now, the quarterback position is more of a competition than a controversy, and let's hopes it stays that way.

Projected Starter: Sefo Liufau - 6'4'' - 225- Sophomore- Tacoma, Washington
Sefo showed great flashes of leadership and poise last season, which is very rare for a true freshman. After relieving Connor Wood a quarterback, Sefo threw 12 touchowns and had very few bad decisions (again, very rare for a freshman). It happened to be the first time since Hansen, that a quarterback for the Buffs had more touchdowns then interceptions.

Jordan Gehrke - 6'1'' - 190 - Junior - Scottsdale, AZ (Scottsdale Community College)
Gehrke excels in an area where Liufau does not - scrambling and keeping a play alive with his feet. His athleticism turned some of the coaches' heads during spring practice, and he actually made a serious push for the starting position. However, Gehrke is yet to take a snap in a Pac-12 game. He played the 2012 season at Scottsdale Community College after he had no offers from any FBS schools. If Liufau goes down, I have confidence that Gehrke could succeed in offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren's mobile QB-friendly offense.

Cade Apsay - 6'2" - 176 - Freshman - Canyon Country, CA
Apsay is the future for head coach Mike MacIntyre, and owns a skill set similar to both Liufau and Gehrke. The three-star prospect passed for 3,333 yards with 39 touchdown passes, and added an impressive 15 rushing touchdowns in his senior season. Given his success, Buffs fans should be excited about this kid in the future. He ran a similar offense in high school, so I don't see him struggling to learn the plays and I think he will pick up the college pace quickly.

Trent Sessions - 6'2" - 195 - Sophomore - San Diego, Calif.
Sessions has the best story of any of the quarterbacks and will probably be a fan favorite if he ever gets put into a game. Sessions was the equipment manager just a season ago. He played high school quarterback at Rancho Bernardino High School in San Diego and only had Division III offers after passing for 1,958 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions in 2012. He decided to attend CU because his uncle and grandmother were CU alums. He had no idea he would ever play football again, until this spring, only Liufau and Gehrke were the only quarterbacks in camp. To add another arm in spring, coaches asked Sessions to walk-on. He was impressive in the spring game, and I hope we get a chance to see him play in mop-up duty sometime during his career.

Other quarterbacks:

Ty Gangi - 6'3" - 200 - Freshman - La Canada, Calif. (PWO)
A preferred walk on, Gangi had an impressive senior season at St. Francis High School, but only played his senior year. He was rated a two-star prospect and should be a great addition for fall camp and could be a darkhorse to eventually earn a scholarship in the future.

Jaleel Awini - 6'2" - 210 - Junior - Aurora, Colo. (Air Force)
It has yet to be confirmed if Awini will be a walk-on or scholarship player and it also hasn't been confirmed if he will be a quarterback or wide receiver. Awini announced he will transfer to CU but he will have to sit out the 2014 season. Awini started three games as a sophomore for Air Force before being kicked out due to unknown reasons. If the coaches decide to keep him at quarterback, he will probably run the scout team, and I think his athleticism and experience will help better the 1st team defense.