If he had it to do over again, Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins says he would not have brought his oldest son, Cody, to Boulder with him to play quarterback for the Buffs.

Dan Hawkins said his son has been attacked by angry fans on his Facebook page and in messages on his cell phone this season as the Buffs have produced a 3-8 record. Cody Hawkins also was booed several times by the home crowd at Folsom Field earlier this season.

University of Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins talks to the media on the Boulder campus on Monday, Nov. 23, 2009.
University of Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins talks to the media on the Boulder campus on Monday, Nov. 23, 2009. ( PAUL AIKEN )

"It's not fair to him," Hawkins said. "I mean, here is a guy who is trying to do his best to win games and help his team and does everything right and is a good student, and he's getting killed on Facebook and he's getting killed on his cell phone.

"The great thing about this job is you meet some unbelievable people, great people. But then you also see another side of humanity that is not real fun."

Hawkins was hired in December 2005 and his son signed a national letter of intent two months later as a surprise addition to the 2006 recruiting class. He redshirted that year and became the starting quarterback in 2007, a position he kept for most of the 2008 season and the first five games this season before he was benched in favor of sophomore Tyler Hansen in the second half at Texas in early October.

In that game, Cody Hawkins became the all-time leader in touchdown passes at Colorado, but he also established the Colorado record for career interceptions thrown, which led to his benching.

"He has handled it great," Dan Hawkins said. "He has been awesome with the whole thing. That guy has been great for our team and great for us."

Cody Hawkins has declined interview requests in recent weeks

Dan Hawkins said he is a glass-is-half-full guy, which is why he chose to take the Colorado job when peers around the country advised against it. Hawkins' job security is uncertain as the Buffs prepare for the season finale Friday at Folsom Field against rival Nebraska.

Dan Hawkins' optimism also led him to believe he and his son could overcome criticism he knew would come occasionally with his son playing quarterback for the team he coached. Dan Hawkins said he doesn't know if his son's presence in the program has led other quarterbacks to shy away from coming to CU.

"So we're looking around the country as I'm looking for my first recruiting class and I'm looking for a quarterback," Dan Hawkins said. "I'm looking for a man's man. I'm looking for a guy with some intergrity. I'm looking for a guy with some leadership skills. I'm looking for a guy who can win football games. And I'm looking around the country, and I've got a lot of these quarterback gurus going, 'Hawk, why don't walk down the hallway and knock on your kid's door and beg him to come to school there.

"And I thought twice about it. I did. Cody was well aware of it. But again, it's me being glass-half-full. I'm looking at what's the best possible scenario? I'm looking at, 'Hey, here's a kid that is a good player, that other people have offered, that other people want. And he is going to come to our place and I know what kind of kid he is and what kind of player he is and how bad we need a quarterback in this class. So it was probably selfish on my part."

While the experience has been tough on Cody Hawkins, his father believes it will ultimately help him down the road. Cody Hawkins wants to follow in his father's footsteps and become a football coach.

Dan Hawkins said having been involved in a quarterback controversy at times in his career in Boulder will help Cody when he is one day making decisions about who plays and doesn't play for him.

"He will have more empathy for those kids in that situation than any coach will," Dan Hawkins said. "Like I told him, I said, 'I think you're going to grow from it as a man, and you're going to grow from it as a coach. You're going to understand all the parameters of this job and what you go through."

Dan Hawkins said the hardest part about taking his son out of the starting role earlier this season was not that the decision involved his son, but that he was "basically telling the whole world that it's one guy's fault. And it's not. It's not one guy's fault."

Notable

Hawkins said freshman defensive end Nick Kasa will be available to play against Nebraska. Kasa has missed the past three games fighting mononucleosis and an enlarged spleen. ...The Camera asked Hawkins is he wants to be here beyond this season to see the program he has built over the past four years succeed. "Well totally. Yeah," he said. "This thing is a labor of love, man. I think you come to make a difference, you come to change things, you come to improve and you never know how long the journey is going to be. Sometimes you want the Good Lord to make it shorter than it is, but whatever reason it's not. But you hang in there long enough it'll happen. You've just got to do things right."