This summer, Colorado football players have spent hours in film sessions. Separating into position groups, they sit down together and go over film and try to get better.

As the leading candidate to win the starting job at quarterback, Connor Wood has probably spent more time than most in those sessions. He's studied film with the quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. He even decided to sit in with the defensive backs.

"I'm sitting there in the film room talking about what I'm looking for as a quarterback and how I can beat them, and they're talking about what they're keying off," Wood said. "So, we're learning from each other. We have a better football IQ (because of it)."

It's no secret that new CU head coach Mike MacIntyre is giving every one of his six quarterbacks an opportunity to win the starting job in the fall.

"The first few practices we're going to look at all those guys and see where they sit and then we're going to have to make some decisions and let three guys compete and get three guys ready," MacIntyre said this week.

Wood, a junior from Houston, is doing his best to make sure he is the man who wins this competition and goes under center when the Buffs open the 2013 season on Sept. 1 against Colorado State.

"I keep improving and learning as a quarterback and how to lead this team," he said.


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It's been a long road for Wood, who began his college career at Texas. He redshirted in 2010 and went into 2011 battling for the starting job with the Longhorns. When he was beat out by Case McCoy and Garrett Gilbert, Wood decided to transfer. He left Texas that August and joined the Buffaloes, but had to sit out the season per NCAA rules.

A year ago, he finished the spring at No. 1 on the depth chart. Then, CU signed Kansas transfer Jordan Webb. The two of them, along with Nick Hirschman, battled for the starting job in the fall, with Webb getting the nod.

Wood did get to start one game last year, a 38-3 loss to Washington on Nov. 17, and finished the season having completed 21 of his 42 passes for 265 yards, four interceptions and one touchdown.

This year, Wood again emerged from spring ball atop the depth chart after Webb tore his ACL and Hirschman decided to transfer to Akron.

"He's our guy coming out of spring," MacIntyre said. "I thought he really played well the last eight practices.

"He is a really well-respected guy on our team. Hopefully he's stepping up and taking care of business and doing that. The tell-tale sign will be as we get into August practice and see how that goes."

For all the good that Wood has done, he knows the starting job is far from secure. Even with Webb and Hirschman out of the picture, Wood has plenty of competition.

True freshman Sefo Liufau comes in as a highly regarded talent. He is taking part in summer practices and will have a shot at the starting job. So will Jordan Gehrke, a transfer from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, who was signed just a month ago.

"That's why we signed him, to try to find out hopefully that he can do that (compete to start)," MacIntyre said. "We'll see."

Junior cornerback Greg Henderson hasn't learned the names of the two new quarterbacks yet, but through three weeks of player-run practices, he's learned they can play.

"They've been throwing good balls out there," Henderson said. "They're looking real impressive. They look calm, composed. That's what we need."

Even Wood said he has been "impressed" with how Liufau and Gehrke throw the ball. Redshirt freshman Shane Dillon, who was viewed as one of the prizes of CU's 2012 recruiting class, and sophomores Stevie Joe Dorman and John Schrock will also get an opportunity to compete when fall camp opens Aug. 8.

If Wood is concerned about the competition, he doesn't show it.

"I'm definitely used to that feeling," he said. "This is my fourth year of having a quarterback battle. I have learned over the years, you have to concentrate on what you're doing and how to make the team better and how you can be the best asset for the offense."

So, that's what he has been doing, and that's why he has spent time watching film with the defensive backs.

"This is the first time I've done it and it's been really helpful to me," he said. "It's made me a better quarterback."

For now, Wood is the No. 1 quarterback, and it's a role he has fully embraced this summer.

Henderson said Wood has stepped up as a leader this summer. And, on Thursday Wood was named one of six captains for the 2013 season because of the leadership he has displayed as the current No. 1.

"It's good to take a leadership role," he said. "I've seen in the past week or so, guys responding well to my leadership.

"I love (having the mindset of a No. 1 quarterback). It's what a quarterback dreams of, to be in Division I and to be a leader on the football team. I think I've shown that. It's a good feeling."

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.