No true freshman quarterback has ever opened the season as the starter at Colorado.
It's possible that could change this year.
Sefo Liufau, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Wash., signed his letter of intent on Wednesday and could be a factor in the quarterback race in the fall.
"I'm excited about Sefo, but I don't want to put all that pressure on him," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "When he gets here, we'll see how he's progressing, but I think he has the body type and I think he has intelligence and he played in a good program there. We'll just have to wait and see how everything unfolds."
MacIntyre said every job is open as he heads into his first season at Colorado. That's especially true at quarterback, where nobody on the current roster has taken hold of the job.
Last season, CU had three different players -- Nick Hirschman, Jordan Webb and Connor Wood -- make starts at quarterback and all three are back. Redshirt freshman Shane Dillon will also be in the mix and many believe he may be the best of the bunch.
"I've seen flashes in all of them," said MacIntyre, who has only seen the players on film to this point. "We'll have to see how they fit into what we do and how we do it. You look at different quarterbacks in different systems; some guys are really good in one system and some guys are really good in another. Somebody will rise to the top. I don't know who it is, but somebody will rise."
Regardless of how the spring plays out, Liufau will have a chance to compete for the job when
"We'll go through spring practice and we'll narrow it down and we'll let him get in the mix when he gets here," MacIntyre said.
During his prep career, Liufau threw for 7,297 yards and 68 touchdowns, with just 20 interceptions, while compiling a 34-5 record. In addition, he ran for 606 yards and 18 touchdowns.
MacIntyre raved about Liufau's athleticism. In addition to football, Liufau uses his speed and leaping ability to star on Bellarmine Prep's basketball team.
"Just a phenomenal young man that I think hopefully will be a bell cow for this class and for our program as he grows in it," MacIntyre said. "I feel like that he has the talent (to start); we'll just see if he can handle everything."
Only five quarterbacks in CU history have ever made a start as a true freshman: Randy Essington (1980), Marc Walters (1986), Koy Detmer (1992), Craig Ochs (2000) and Tyler Hansen (2008).
MacIntyre signed five linebackers on Wednesday. All five of them also played running back in high school, including Ryan Severson, who rushed for 1,951 yards and 32 touchdowns at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., last fall.
"I like to get linebackers that play tailback," MacIntyre said. "That's kind of one of the things I look for. My personal opinion is if you can run the ball and make them miss you that if you can get on the other side that means you can tackle them."
MacIntyre said all three of his linebackers at San Jose State were tailbacks in high school. He believes that those players are better suited to think like a running back because they've done it themselves, and those instincts make them more successful.
"That's stuff you just can't coach," he said.
Defensive ends could play early
One area of immediate need was defensive end, and MacIntyre filled that need by adding Timothy Coleman of Mullen High School and Jimmie Gilbert from College Station, Texas.
"With (Tim) and Jimmie, I hope that one of those guys will be able to step out there and help us this fall, because we're a little thin at the defensive end position, depth-wise," MacIntyre said.
Will Pericak graduated, leaving Chidera Uzo-Diribe, Kirk Poston and Juda Parker as the only defensive ends with experience. De'Jon Wilson, who redshirted last year, also plays at defensive end.
"If (Coleman and Gilbert) are not completely ready for it, I still think they're going to be good enough to really help us," MacIntyre said. "I do think they have the tools to do that."
No JUCO players
MacIntyre said he did not go after any junior college transfers.
"Most of those guys that we would have wanted were already basically committed or signed by the time I got the job," he said.
This was the second year in a row CU didn't sign a JUCO player after doing so in each of the previous 15 years.
Sizing up the competition
Rivals.com ranked CU's class as the worst in the Pac-12. Not that MacIntyre is paying attention.
"I haven't looked at one single other Pac-12 list," he said. "I had a wise coach tell me one time, 'Don't worry about everybody else's people, just worry about the ones you have.'"
CU used just 30 of the 62 official visits allowed. Only seven of those were used by the former coaching staff. ... MacIntyre said he has one more coach to hire for his staff -- a special teams coordinator. "I'll do that here in the next couple of weeks," he said. ... Defensive back Tedric Thompson chose CU over Minnesota, where is his brother, Cedric, is a starting safety. ... Offensive lineman Colin Sutton is the younger brother of swimmer Chloe Sutton, who was a part of the United States Olympic team in 2008 and 2012. ... Gilbert's father, Jimmie, was a 1986 draft pick of the NBA's Chicago Bulls, and his sister, Karla, currently plays basketball at Texas A&M. ... The Buffs open spring practice on March 7.
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