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By: CUBuffs.com
The battle for the No. 2 quarterback spot between Nick Hirschman (8) and Connor Wood (5) should come soon.
Brooks: Back-up QB Decision Won't Linger Much Longer
Release: August 27, 2012
By: B.G. Brooks, Contributing Editor
BOULDER - The Colorado Buffaloes went into game-week preparation on Monday with co-backup quarterbacks, but they won't go into Saturday's opener against Colorado State with that vital spot unresolved.

Quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer said before Monday's practice that a decision on who would back up starter Jordan Webb - the choice is between sophomores Connor Wood and Nick Hirschman - would "probably be decided in the next day or so."

However, Scherer added, "Until somebody really solidifies it, it probably will be a week-to-week thing."

But possibly having Wood/Hirschman prepare as Webb's backup in week one, then have the other prep for that role in week two runs contrary to Scherer's preference.

"I'd prefer one guy to be No. 2 and go from there," he said. "But it's been nip-and-tuck (competition), to be honest with you."

Webb, the transfer from Kansas who is enrolled in CU's graduate school of education, quickly separated himself from Wood and Hirschman in the first eight days of August camp. Coaches believed his experience as a 19-game starter in Big 12 Conference competition was evident.

The swift decision to name Webb the starter was a collaborative one involving head coach Jon Embree and Scherer, with Embree saying "it just felt right" after watching Webb's accuracy and play-making ability. But Embree indicated the choice for a backup would fall more to Scherer and that he supported whomever the veteran QB coach picked.

Wood, who transferred to CU from Texas during last summer's camp and sat out the 2011 season, and Hirschman, who missed last spring's drills with a broken foot, have continued to battle since Webb was named the starter.

Embree said each "has had his moments, but I know Rip is looking for greater consistency from one of them." He also agreed with Scherer's assessment that naming a backup and keeping him in that role was more desirable than a week-to-week arrangement.

But Embree added if that wasn't how the situation evolved, "the other way (week-to-week) is something that could be worked out."

In another quarterback development, John Schrock, the invited walk-on who showed well in last August's camp as a freshman, is being tested for mononucleosis. For the time being, his absence leaves redshirt freshman Stevie Joe Dorman and true freshman Shane Dillon as the only other two players at the position.

NELSON ON BOARD WITH C CLUB: Seems that Tate Nelson's prior stint on the Alumni C Club board only whetted his appetite. When the organization's executive director position recently opened, Nelson was in a position to make at a run at it.

The former CU defensive back (1988-91) latched onto the job about a month ago and is gung-ho about reconnecting with Buffs from every sport.

"There's clearly a lot of work to be done, reaching out to people who haven't been contacted in maybe 15 to 20 years . . . there's still a connection, but the question becomes how do we expand on it and recreate that same kind of connection (with CU) they had previously," said Nelson, who spent 20 years managing document databases for large, national law firms.

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Nelson returned to Colorado six years ago and served on the C Club board for four of those years, including a term as president. When his regular job became too demanding, he put his C Club involvement on hold. But he recently found himself with the opportunity to reenter the C Club picture.

"When this job popped up, being able to do it full time was a no-brainer for me," he said. "I've only been at it for about a month, but already it's been so rewarding."

The C Club's role currently includes 719 dues-paying members. Nelson hopes to get that total over 1,000, but more importantly, he would like to increase participation as much as numbers.

"That's my number one goal - that and help everyone stay connected," he said. "With the previous turnover in (football) coaching staffs, a lot of guys didn't know the coaches. I felt the same way; I knew Coach 'Mac' (Bill McCartney), but didn't know Rick Neuheisel and felt a little uncomfortable.

"It's been that way a couple of times since. But I want to get the message out that we're all Buffs and everyone always will be welcome here."

Nelson said when he reaches out to Buffs, "There are always people who think that first call is about money. I want to let people know that's not the primary reason . . . sure, I want to get membership up. More dues-paying members would be great, but I want to get more people actively involved."

The current CU staff includes a handful of coaches - including head coach Jon Embree - who played for the Buffs, which Nelson contends "gives me a leg up in that arena. Those guys are either old teammates or guys who coached me. Knowing people on the inside has been great, and all of those guys have been great. These guys are every bit as committed to re-engaging former student-athletes as I am. That certainly makes my job much easier."

BUFF BITS: Embree will go with a weekly captain(s) and have the team vote on a permanent captain(s) at season's end . . . . The post-camp/game-week depth chart released last Friday featured 15 freshmen at various positions. Embree said the eight remaining first-year scholarship players who participated in camp likely will be redshirt candidates . . . . Sophomore Alex Lewis, listed on the depth chart as the starter at left guard, came out of a protective boot (slight ankle sprain) for Monday's practice and is expected to be ready to play on Saturday (2 p.m., Sports Authority Field at Mile High) . . . . Embree said in the final four days leading up to the opener, the Buffs need to become more detail oriented.

Contact: BG.Brooks@Colorado.EDU

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