Quarterback. What a relief. I am serious, this year at the quarterback position has been such a refreshing one. Can you remember the last, I don’t know, 7 seasons? Leading up to week one we had been met by "We don’t know who the starter will be, these guys are neck and neck, no real separation." Every time I saw that I wanted to barf. What it meant to me was, "None of these guys can prove to us that they deserve to play."
Not this year. Working through camp we have a clear cut leader. Connor Wood. The kid looks the part, at 6 foot 4 he has all the intangibles, was recruited to play at Texas, and has all the tools to make things happen. His problem, however, seems to be pressure, both the pressure to perform and pressure from a defense.
Like I said the kid seems to have all the tools. It is in practice, and in the offseason that he has always seemed to shine. Last year when the practices were closed just about no one believed that he could be beat out, especially by a transfer from Kansas. What we weren’t seeing was how he PERFORMED when the ball was snapped. The problem is (or hopefully was) that when the lights were on and it was time to say "hike" (I don’t think they actually do that outside of two-hand-touch) Wood couldn’t get it done. In game last year his numbers were bad. He boasted a 50 percent completion rate, four interceptions, and only one touchdown. From the defense, we see him struggle under pressure too. When he makes bad decisions, it is in the face of an oncoming rush. If he senses the blitz he seems to float, not get his feet under him and toss up a meatball. I noticed it already this year in one of the "highlight" (for the defense) videos out of camp.
So what is different from last year, and his year at Texas, to this year. Well we hope the difference is coaching. This coaching staff and specifically QB’s coach Brian Lindgren have proven they can take raw and turn it to finished. Their last stop in San Jose proves it. Lindgren was given a JUCO transfer David Fales and molded him into one of the "quarterbacks to watch" in all of college football this coming season. If they can do this with an under the radar JUCO transfer, imagine the ceiling for a highly touted, 4-star, Texas transfer. Obviously there are a lot of what-if’s here, but taste the kool-aid... go on just one sip.
Problem is, if you think Wood is unproven, look behind him. Because of attrition (Nick Hirshman = gone), and basketball (our other highly touted recruit Shane Dillon left the team to pursue a career on the hardwood) we are left with fewer back-up options. Right behind Wood is true freshman, Sefo Liufau (please let him keep his red-shirt, please, please, please), and JUCO transfer Jordan Gehrke. There is also Stevie Joe Dorman, who has the name of a folk singer, but the pedigree of a world beater at QB (his uncles are Koy and Ty Detmer). Oh and don’t forget to check the training room (or dog house) for last years starter Jordan Webb.
I do hold high hopes for Wood, but if the pressure comes and he doesn’t get his feet planted and the dead duck winds up in the hand of a Rammie in week one I have no doubt that the chants for SEFO, SEFO, SEFO will be loud and clear. Lindgren said it not me: "He's as impressive as any freshman I've ever coached," offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said. "I'm thrilled. He's going to be a stud."
Projected Starter: Connor Wood - 6’4’’ – 225- Junior- From Houston, Texas. (University of Texas)
Connor played a bit last year with somewhat disappointing numbers. He came out of high school very highly touted, even an All-American. He had just about everyone in the nation interested. Alabama, LSU, Florida State, Notre Dame, the list goes on. Finally, during high school he committed to the University of Texas, and attended for a year. He was never able to crack the top spot on the depth chart so transferred to Colorado.
Waiting in the Wings: Sefo Liufau – 6’4’’ – 215- True Freshman – From Tacoma, Washington
Sefo by all accounts looks to be the future for the Buffs at the quarterback position. This kid is a straight up athlete. If the pocket collapses he has the athleticism to escape and make a play with his feet, but when the pocket holds up he is dangerous through the air. QB’s coach Brian Lindgren, who knows a thing or two about great quarterbacks has this to say of Sefo: "He's as impressive as any freshman I've ever coached, I'm thrilled. He's going to be a stud." NUF SAID
Jordan Gehrke – 6’1’’ – 190 – Sophomore – Scottsdale, AZ (Scottsdale Community College)
Jordan is a bit of an unknown to Buffs fans so far. He just transferred in from Scottsdale Community College. Out of high school, Gehrke didn’t turn too many heads. While playing well in his high school campaign he couldn’t garner much interest from D1 schools. He didn’t see any FBS scholarship offers and so decided to take his talents to SCC. He has always wanted to play for a Pac-12 team and here is his chance. I would love to see him step up and take over the second string job. The pistol offense that Mac is installing could really benefit a kid like this. Not to create a fervor but there is a guy down at A&M who runs the pistol who is also about 6’1’’ 190 (just saying).
Stevie Joe Dorman – 6’2’’ – 220 – Sophomore – Somerset, TX
Stevie is definitely no slouch, but his ceiling is most likely much lower than the guys ahead of him. Out of high school in the San Antonio area Scout.com had him pegged as the No. 77 QB in the country. Well, that and, his pedigree. He is the nephew of Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer, and Buff stand-out Koy Detmer.
Jordan Webb – 6’1’’ – 215 – Senior – Union, MO (University of Kansas)
Jordannnnnn…… Jordan Jordan Jordan. This kid was handed the reigns last year and led the Buffs to a 1-11 record, the worst in program history. However, he ALSO willed this team to its only win against Washington State. That game he showed heart. Jordan was the starter at Kansas for a few years then transferred to Colorado following a coaching change. He had experience as a starter at the college level so he started for us. His career record was not good at Kansas and last year did little to strengthen his resume. Entering spring ball he was poised to battle Connor Wood for the starting job, but unfortunately tore his ACL. The offseason woes didn’t end with that ligament tearing. This summer he also was involved in an off campus beatdown in Boulder. Leading up to this incident he and former offensive lineman Alex Lewis drank about 17 gallons of booze. IF he is able to get out of the training room it will be a long haul out of the dog house (I am assuming).