BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s less than three weeks away from the Rocky Mountain Showdown when the University of Colorado Buffaloes face the Colorado State University Rams on the gridiron.
The Rams have already named Garret Grayson their starting quarterback. The Buffs, meanwhile, are still considering their options, and right now three are still in the running — Connor Wood, Nick Hirshamn and Jordan Webb.
Three players battling for one spot. So is it three’s company, or three’s a crowd?
“We’re in a quarterback competition right now,” Buffs head coach Jon Embree said. “I don’t anticipate it being a controversy. I don’t know why I said that, either.”
The difference between a competition and a controversy can be razor thin, but so far the quarterbacks say the competition has been healthy.
“It can be (awkward). People can make it that way, but in that room, it’s not,” Wood said. “I think we’re all good friends.”
“Any competition is going to be a little bit awkward sometimes because you see guys throw a big pass and you want to go do same thing because of the results of that big play,” Hirshman said. “But we all try to help each other.”
Most Buffs fans know very little about the quarterbacks. Hirshman is the only one who has taken any snaps for Colorado. He played briefly in three games last season, but stress fractures in both feet have hindered his development. However, his time in Boulder the past three seasons gives him an advantage over the other two.
“The guys really like Nick. I’m not saying they don’t like Connor … but guys really gravitate to Nick,” Embree said. “He is another guy with a big arm. What he has to do is continue to improve on the mental aspect of the game.”
Wood used to be at Texas. He lost out in a quarterback battle in Austin, but at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds he looks like the kind of quarterback CU hasn’t had.
“In quarterback terms (Wood) is a very pretty quarterback,” Hershman said laughing. “When he drops and sets he’s very pretty and looks good throwing the ball.”
“Connor has a big arm. Connor can make all the throws. He has a good grasp of the offense; we need him to be more consistent,” Embree said.
Webb is the newest Buff. He didn’t arrive on campus until last month. Before that he started 19 games for the Kansas Jayhawks. He’s generously listed at 6-foot-1, but don’t judge him on his size alone.
“I’m competitor first and foremost. I want to win. I want to win more than anything,” Webb said. “I’ll do anything it takes to win. I’m a little guy but I’m feisty out there, you know. You might see me throwing a block. You might see; if a defender takes a cheap shot at one of my linemen I’ll definitely have their back. I think that’s something the guys really like.”
“(He) reminds me of (Koy Detmer) a little bit in that he has unique ways of getting the ball to the right guy,” Embree said. “He doesn’t have the biggest arm, but he gets it there, he generally gets it there on time; it’s a fairly catchable ball.”
Embree said he hopes to make a decision soon so he can start getting some sleep.