QB competition

Now that Davis Webb is heading to Cal instead of CU, the Buffaloes go into the summer with an unsettling situation at quarterback. Here's a look at how the depth chart could look for the fall:

1. Sefo Liufau, Sr., 6-foot-4, 230 pounds: Most experienced QB in the Pac-12, but his status is in doubt as he recovers from a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. Even if healthy, he'll need to improve after a tough junior campaign. He's also just 8-21 as a starter.

2. Steven Montez, R-Fr., 6-foot-5, 230: Very talented and had a solid spring, but he has yet to play a snap in a college game. While he does have great skills, he showed in the spring game he's got some improving to do.

3. Jordan Gehrke, Sr., 6-foot-1, 200: Although he's a senior, Gehrke has thrown just 68 passes in two seasons at CU. He slipped to No. 3 (behind now-departed freshman Cade Apsay) last season and came out of spring as the clear No. 2 behind Montez.

4. Sam Noyer, T-Fr., 6-foot-4, 205: There's a lot to like about the Beaverton, Ore., product, but he's still in high school and won't get to Boulder until the summer. He's probably at least a year away from seriously challenging for playing time.

On Wednesday morning, Davis Webb made a phone call to Colorado co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, letting him know that he passed all of his classes and was set to graduate from Texas Tech this weekend.


The tone in Webb's voice told Chiaverini there was more to this call, though.

"I could tell that he was a little nervous calling me," Chiaverini said. "I could tell he wanted to get serious and talk a little bit."

Unfortunately for Chiaverini and the Buffaloes, the coveted quarterback informed them that, despite maintaining his commitment to Colorado for more than three months, he is spurning the Buffs and transferring to California instead.

Head coach Mike MacIntyre was out of the office Wednesday, but through CU issued a simple statement: "We're excited about the quarterbacks that we have, so we are moving on."

Still, this is a crushing blow to the Buffs, who have been planning for Webb's arrival since he gave a verbal commitment on January 27, and now face major question marks at the most important position on the field.

In a text message, Webb confirmed to BuffZone.com that he has picked Cal, but declined to go into details about his decision.

"He just told me that he felt at the end of the day that the best decision for him personally was to go somewhere else," Chiaverini said.

A 6-foot-5, 225-pound graduate transfer, Webb will be eligible immediately and has one season to play.

After playing 23 games (14 starts) in three years at Texas Tech, Webb was highly coveted by several quarterback-needy teams this offseason. He threw for 5,557 yards, 46 touchdowns and 22 interceptions at Tech and was the MVP of the 2013 Holiday Bowl.

He suffered a shoulder injury during the latter half of the 2014 season, however, and then lost his starting job last year to Patrick Mahomes, who is regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the country. With Mahomes entrenched as the starter, Webb elected to play elsewhere for his final season.

Chiaverini, who was hired by CU in December, spent the previous two seasons as the receivers coach at Texas Tech and developed a good relationship with Webb. That relationship is what led Webb to commit back in January and then sign a non-binding financial aid agreement in February.

In March, Webb spent the majority of his spring break in Boulder, watching CU practice, studying film with coaches and getting to know the players on a personal level. The next week, he told BuffZone.com that despite being contacted by other schools throughout the spring, he was fully committed to playing quarterback for the Buffs.

Just a couple weeks later, though, on April 8, Webb took a recruiting visit to Cal, and admitted that he was exploring his options.

In the ensuing weeks and even in recent days, Webb continued to express to CU coaches that he intended to play for the Buffs.

Cal's full-court press changed his mind, though, and the fact that the Bears run the same air-raid offense that Webb ran at Texas Tech played a role.

"He thought from an offensive standpoint, having the same type of offense and the verbiage won't change at all, and him having his last year to be very comfortable and knowing the whole system (was a difference)," Chiaverini said.

While CU is incorporating much of Texas Tech's concepts into its offense, the Buffs will run more of a hybrid offense and Webb would have had more to learn had he joined the Buffs.

Webb's decision does hurt the Buffs, but Chiaverini went out of his way to praise Webb, who now faces the task of replacing the No. 1 pick in last month's NFL draft, Jared Goff.

"I told him, 'Am I mad at you? No, I'm not mad. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't convey this a little earlier,' " Chiaverini said. "But at the end of the day, I'm really proud of Davis. I want everybody to know that. I saw what he went through. I saw the adversity he went through and the ups and downs of getting hurt and then losing his starting job. The way he handled it, he handled it with a lot of character and a lot of class. I'll always have a lot of respect for him and I'll always be proud of him.

"This is not about football; this is about people and I mean that. He's a great young man and people shouldn't attack him (for this decision). At the end of the day, he made a decision that was best for him and, as coaches, we do that too."

As for the Buffs, they already have the most experienced quarterback in the Pac-12, but they aren't sure if senior Sefo Liufau will be healthy enough to play this fall.

Liufau has more starts (29) and thrown for more yards (7,397) than anyone in the Pac-12 this coming season, but he is still recovering from a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. He was injured on Nov. 13 against USC and has been doing well in recovery, but CU won't know for sure if Liufau is ready until he actually gets on the field and starts playing again this fall.

Behind Liufau is redshirt freshman Steven Montez, who has exceptional talent but has never played a snap in college, and senior Jordan Gehrke, who has thrown only 68 passes since joining CU in 2014.

With all of that uncertainty surrounding their returners, the Buffs felt the need to go after Webb this offseason.

Now, the Buffs must hope that Liufau can be fully healed by August and that Montez can grow up in a hurry.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.