Connor Wood has been a part of the Colorado football program for nearly two years now and through most of that time he hasn't inspired many to describe him as the confident sort.

But that appears to be changing this spring.

The Buffs will wrap up spring football Tuesday with a brief practice in shorts and helmets reviewing what transpired in Saturday's spring game, The rest of the session will be dedicated to coaches showing players how they would like them to practice in the summer when coaches aren't allowed to be on the field.

Wood has played himself into position to be one of the leaders of those player-organized practices after competing this spring with five other quarterbacks. He produced better results than four of them and similar results to fellow junior-to-be Nick Hirschman.

These numbers are what CU fans had in mind when they worked themselves into a craze when Wood joined the program. In four scrimmages this spring, Wood completed 36 of 56 passes for 601 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for a 33-yard score.

Wood and his fellow quarterbacks have raved this spring about the coaching style of head coach Mike MacIntyre, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren and the rest of the CU staff. Wood leaves no doubt where he believes the credit belongs for his resurgence.


"The coaches do a great job of instilling that confidence," Wood said. "They really foster that at practice. Coach Lindgren, I just give all the credit to him, just the way he has coached us up as quarterbacks this spring. It makes us collectively more at ease. I think our accuracy and consistency has improved as a group. ...Really, I just can't say enough great things about the coaching staff."

Just three years ago Wood was one of the most coveted quarterback recruits in the nation. He had signed with Texas after a standout career Second Baptist High School in the Houston area.

Wood redshirted for the Longhorns during the 2010 season and when it became clear he wasn't going to win the starting job as a redshirt freshman in August 2011, he found his way to Boulder where he sat out another year because of NCAA transfer rules.

Wood almost had the quarterback position entirely to himself as a third-year sophomore last spring because of Hirschman's foot injury, but he didn't command the huddle and demonstrate a proficiency within the offense that former coaches Jon Embree, Eric Bieniemy and Rip Scherer wanted. That led those coaches to add an insurance policy to the equation in Jordan Webb, a transfer from Kansas who had earned his degree and didn't have to sit out.

Webb earned the starting job over Wood and Hirschman last fall. All of it was humbling for a young man who was rated the third best pro style quarterback in the nation in 2010 by

The way the Buffs' 2012 season transpired was even more humbling for everyone in the program. CU went 1-11 and had three different quarterbacks start games, including Wood who started a November blowout loss to Washington.

CU quarterbacks combined for 19 interceptions last fall and just 11 touchdown passes. Wood was responsible for four interceptions and one touchdown while completing just 50 percent of his passes in seven games.

He says there are three factors working in harmony to help him improve this spring, a simplified offense and passing game, more positive coaching and his own maturity.

"It's nice," he said when asked after the spring game about his turn around. "It's refreshing, again talking about the coaches. It all starts with them and the culture that they have brought here. They put great confidence in me, Nick and all the quarterbacks. They show that they believe in us and that they care."

Wood earned the Eddie Crowder Award this spring from coaches for displaying outstanding leadership. That combined with his performance on the field has him atop the leader board once again in the minds of some CU fans when it comes to who will be the starting quarterback on Sept. 1 when the Buffs open the 2013 season against Colorado State.

It's shaping up as a story of perseverance, but it will only come to fruition if Wood is able to finish what he started by finally winning the starting job in August and then producing against defenders with a better track record than those he has been competing against on the practice fields this spring.

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