True freshman Sefo Liufau will be Conno Wood’s backup this season.
True freshman Sefo Liufau will be Conno Wood's backup this season. (CLIFF GRASSMICK)

Naming a starting quarterback always grabs the headlines even when the chosen one comes as no surprise as was the case Monday when Colorado named Connor Wood its starter.

But the more eye-catching development on coach Mike MacIntyre's initial depth chart for the 2013 season was true freshman Sefo Liufau earning the backup job to Wood. CU, a program forced to play way too many young players in recent years, is now one play away from having a true freshman leading the charge.

MacIntyre said he has no plans to try to get Liufau some early experience this season by allowing him to take a few series from Wood or put him in the game in select situations. Instead, MacIntyre said he believes Liufau is getting enough reps in practice to prepare him should he be called on to replace Wood.

MacIntyre also made it clear he would have no problem putting a true freshman in as a replacement if Wood is ineffective, even though that true freshman would be taking his first college snaps.

"If things aren't going really well, I'll make a change with anybody and any position," MacIntyre said. "I'm not planning on putting him in like for the third series just for the heck of it."

Offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said he already is emphasizing to Liufau that he must prepare as if he is going to be the starter each week. Lindgren said Liufau is the most-mature true freshman he has ever been around and he believes he is prepared to handle the spotlight if he is called on.


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"I'm really excited for Sefo to see him in that position," Lindgren said. "I think his future is extremely bright at quarterback."

Lindgren said if Liufau does need to go into a game at some point, it could affect the game plan somewhat. He said coaches wouldn't necessarily take things out of the game plan, but he would call plays geared toward what he believes Liufau does best.

"I think any time you're putting a freshman in, you want to simplify it a little bit and focus on things he's comfortable with," Lindgren said. "That will be something we determine every week going into the game."

MacIntyre's policy is not to allow true freshmen to speak with media until after the first game of the season, unless those freshmen were enrolled in spring classes and went through spring football.