Kyle Ringo
Kyle Ringo

All indications are Colorado football coaches will add former Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb to the roster later this month or in early June, giving the Buffs some badly needed experience under center.

A source close to the program said last week that coach Jon Embree and his staff are preparing for fall camp and the 2012 season as if they will have Webb in black, silver and gold competing for the starting job.

Webb is graduating this month from Kansas and has received his release from the school allowing him to transfer to CU. The NCAA transfer rule that usually requires a player to sit out a year does not apply in this case because Webb has already earned his degree with two years of eligibility to spare.

It remains to be seen if Embree's program will have to rely on Webb and his experience this fall or if he will simply serve as a nice security blanket backing up either Connor Wood or Nick Hirschman, both of whom are third-year sophomores.

It's a wise move on Embree's part to nab a player with Webb's experience going into a season when only one of the quarterbacks currently on the roster has any experience at all playing at the college level and that experience amounts to mop-up duty in several games and one very shaky start in which he was pulled in the first quarter.

Hirschman is that player. He played in five games last season backing up Tyler Hansen and he was never at his best after suffering a foot injury in fall camp, having surgery and then returning to action too soon and re-injuring himself.


Advertisement

Wood received every snap in spring practices and was very impressive at times and rather average at others. No one is close to giving up on the talented transfer from Texas, but he didn't knock anyone's socks off the way fans and coaches might have been hoping he would considering he had no one breathing down his neck in the spring.

Of course, it's always possible that true freshman Shane Dillon could blow everyone away when he arrives and begins competing in August. Embree has refused to say he will redshirt Dillon just in case of that possibility. The coach has no doubt he found a future star in Dillon.

But the reality of the situation CU coaches are facing is that is all they really have to work with right now -- players with solid potential. And the simple fact of the matter is, that makes coaches nervous.

Webb has nearly 20 starts under his belt playing for a Big 12 Conference program the past two years. He played in 12 games last fall and completed 64 percent of his passes. He threw for 1,884 yards and 13 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.

Those statistics could be described as average at best. They wouldn't even get him a look with some programs, but at CU they are considerably more than anyone else has to offer.

And it's not really those statistics that have Embree and his staff excited about adding Webb to the roster. It's knowing that Webb has been in the fray on Saturday afternoons in front of 70,000 fans. He has faced myriad situations and they know if they need him, they can put him in a game and not have to worry that he freezes up or freaks out or simply won't perform.

If he joins the program and manages to beat out players in Wood and Hirschman who obviously know and understand the offense much better than him, good for him. It's a bonus.

Some CU supporters are lukewarm on the idea of adding an experienced quarterback to the roster because they fear it will stunt the growth of the younger players and maybe even lead to a transfer. They look at the results Webb and the Jayhawks produced last year and believe he isn't worth it or might not be a good fit.

The truth is, he probably wasn't a good fit playing in a system under former Kansas coach Turner Gill that didn't suit him, but he made the best of it.

It might be the whole season. It might be just a game or a half or a series, but if Webb does end up in Boulder this summer, it says here there will come a time next season when Buffs fans will be happy about it.