Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Jordan Webb has the experience and the intelligence to make the right ones.

That's why Colorado head coach Jon Embree decided to go with Webb as his 2012 starter instead of Connor Wood or Nick Hirschman.

Now the Buffs suddenly have a decided advantage in experience at the quarterback position entering Saturday's opener against Colorado State at Sports Authority Field in Denver.

"He was good with decisions -- where to go with the ball, when to go with it, when to run, when to work the pocket," Embree said of Webb. "He's very good at making decisions."

Even though Webb just transferred to CU from Kansas in July, the junior signal caller is already enjoying more freedom in Eric Bieniemy's offense than he ever did in Lawrence.

Webb will be allowed to change plays at the line of scrimmage if he doesn't like the look the Rams are giving him.

"It's more responsibility than I've ever had at this position," Webb said. "I'm looking forward to it."

The Buffs don't know how CSU's defense will try to play them. Webb said it really won't matter.

"Whether I'm hitting a bunch of 50-yard bombs or checking down to the running back, I know we can be successful either way," Webb said. "I just have to take what the defense gives me."

The Rams' secondary -- led by starters Bernard Blake (left cornerback), Momo Thomas (right cornerback), Trent Matthews (strong safety) and Austin Gray (free safety) -- is considered to be the strength of their defense.


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"They have some good talent back there," Webb said. "They have some spots we need to look at opening up."

Webb, who threw for 3,079 yards with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 19 starts at KU, expects the entire playbook will be available for his CU debut.

"I don't want them to hold back anything because of me," Webb said. "I want to work hard to make sure I'm sharp on Saturday. It should be a good day for us."

CSU's starting quarterback, sophomore Garrett Grayson, had two touchdowns and six interceptions in four games last season.

"If I was to go into this first game (without playing as a freshman), I would have jitters like it's unbelievable," Grayson said at CSU media day earlier this month. "Going to Mile High and playing CU, the big rival, I would have so many jitters. But now that I've got a few games in my system and know what it's like playing Division I football, all of that will come together."

Embree said on Tuesday that a decision had not yet been made on whether Wood or Hirschman would be the No. 2 quarterback for the Buffs on Saturday.

Recruiting turf war?

Embree and his staff have 13 verbal commitments for the 2013 recruiting class, including in-state prospects Phillip Lindsay (Denver South), John Lisella (Columbine) and Mitchell Parsons (Parker).

Five of the eight verbal commitments first-year CSU head coach Jim McElwain has been able to get are from the Centennial State.

So does the Rocky Mountain Showdown have implications on the recruiting trail?

Depends on who is watching.

"For us, we have to be better recruiting in state. Jim's gotten off to a good start in state," Embree said. "The uniqueness of this state is there are a lot of kids who could care less about either program from a rooting standpoint because they moved here from Texas or Florida or Arizona. Their parents maybe went to different schools, so this rivalry isn't a rivalry yet where kids are raised or people are looking at it around the state as you're either a Buff or a Ram."

Youth movement ready

CU is expected to play 16 true freshmen on Saturday. The Buffs played 15 true freshmen last season.

These are good developments, according to veteran players and coaches who have been observing the talented young roster carefully throughout fall camp.

"We've got a freshmen group here and a group of young guys, redshirt freshmen and sophomores, that are just flipping spectacular, honestly," Webb said. "Lot of talent. They're also smart on the field, which is huge for freshmen."

Healthy Buffs

Starting left guard Alex Lewis (ankle sprain) is listed as probable for Saturday's game. He is the only player on the CU injury report this week other than wide receiver Paul Richardson (knee), who has been ruled out for the first two games of the season.

Notable

Firefighters who battled the devastating fires in the state this summer will be honored by both universities during the pre-game on Saturday at Sports Authority Field. CU and CSU are also working with the Colorado State Fire Chiefs Association to distribute tickets to worthy firefighters. ... Gov. John Hickenlooper will conduct the coin toss. ... Craig Bolerjack (play-by-play), former CU quarterback Joel Klatt (color) and Petros Papadakis (sideline) will handle the broadcast on FX.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanThorburn.