Colorado football fans who feel they know less today about their team and it's true potential for the 2012 season than when spring practices began back in early March need not worry. You're not alone.
The roster is littered with question marks and the answers won't come for at least four months when the team gets a few weeks of fall camp under its belt in August.
Most of what we learned about this team this spring only contributed to the uncertainty heading into the summer.
We learned the Buffs lost their best player in wide receiver Paul Richardson to a torn knee ligament that he will have surgically repaired today. The injury is expected to keep him out all season. There is no one on the roster or in the freshman class capable of filling his shoes single-handedly.
We learned quarterback Connor Wood is more of a work in progress than a player who is undoubtedly ready to take over as the starter and lead the Buffs to a bowl game. Anyone who says Wood looks dramatically better than Nick Hirschman did when he was healthy last spring and summer is fooling themselves. Wood still has a lot to prove between now and the start of the season and fans need to come to terms with the fact that the former four-star, blue-chip recruit may not be the starter in Denver against Colorado State on Sept. 2.
That doesn't necessarily mean he won't be ready at some point next season.
And that doesn't necessarily mean Hirschman will be the starter either.
We learned this spring that coaches are concerned enough about their options under center that they are hopeful of adding a veteran quarterback to the mix. All indications are that player will be former Kansas starter Jordan Webb, who visited Boulder last month. Webb must graduate from Kansas in May, making him eligible to transfer and play immediately without sitting out.
Webb isn't talking about his future until he is further along in the process. He has two years of eligibility
We learned the offensive line and linebacker corps are the strengths of their respective sides of the ball. Fans should feel good about those groups, but with so many holes to fill around them, it's tough to forecast results.
We learned the Buffs should be able to run the ball with sophomore Tony Jones ready to step out of the shadow of former star Rodney Stewart. Throw in junior Josh Ford and a trio of talented freshmen tailbacks and the Buffs should be in better position in the backfield than they have been in the past few years when everything depended on Stewart.
We learned that based on his development to this point, Nick Kasa will probably earn more playing as a senior tight end than he did as a freshmen, sophomore and junior defensive lineman combined.
We learned absolutely nothing about the defensive line other than coaches like veterans Will Pericak, Chidera Uzo-Diribe and Juda Parker and now they have fall camp to figure out which of the eight freshmen defensive linemen will play along side them.
We learned defensive back Parker Orms seems to have used up all his good luck with that amazing game-winning run in the Class 4A state championship game back in 2008. Orms just can't seem to stay healthy enough to play in Boulder. He pulled his hamstring again in the third practice this spring and didn't get back on the field.
This team really needs Orms' skill and instincts in the coming season when a handful of true freshmen and inexperienced underclassmen will be playing regularly in the secondary.
And finally, we learned this spring that when coach Jon Embree guessed in February that as many 20-21 freshmen could play this fall, it's not because he is playing favorites with his recruits. It's because the depth and talent on this roster has reached a scary low point and Embree really has no other choice.