It was an interesting offseason for Colorado quarterbacks.
There was the Davis Webb saga. There was Sheriron Jones transferring to CU and then back to Tennessee. And, backup Cade Apsay was dismissed for violating team rules.
Meanwhile, senior Sefo Liufau spent hours rehabilitating a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. It's an injury that can take several months or more than a year for full recovery.
Nobody really knew if Liufau would be ready to play this season, but with all the commotion and chatter around him, Liufau simply put his head down and kept working.
"I just focused on myself and my goal of getting back to play my senior year and not wanting to redshirt," he said. "That's what I put all my focus and energy into. I didn't really think about anything else."
Now healthy and cleared to play, Liufau is eager to get on the field and put together his best season in Boulder.
Although just 8-21 as a starter, Liufau feels this can be a turnaround season for himself and the Buffs. He's more mature, and so are his teammates, and he's hoping that will lead to better results, especially in critical late-game situations.
"You want to go out there and make the play," he said. "I'm more excited than anything. You want to be in those big-time moments and make the big plays. That's where all the memories are made, whether good or bad. I'm excited and just ready to go."
Head coach Mike MacIntyre is excited too. Always a supporter of his quarterback, MacIntyre believes the best is yet to come for Liufau.
"I think he can be extremely special," MacIntyre said. "I think he can make a lot of plays and do a lot of good things for us, and he doesn't have to make all the plays now. We've got other guys that can do it. So, I think that kind of takes a little bit of the pressure off of him."
Before the start of preseason camp on Thursday, BuffZone.com will take a look at each position group for the Buffaloes. In our final installment, we take a look at the quarterbacks.
Returnees: Jordan Gehrke (Sr., 6-1, 200); Sefo Liufau (Sr., 6-4, 230); Steven Montez (Fr., 6-5, 230); T.J. Patterson (Jr., 6-3, 180; walk-on).
Additions: Sam Noyer (Fr., 6-4, 205); Chris Helbig (Fr., 6-4, 185; walk-on); Casey Marksberry (Fr., 6-3, 185; walk-on); Tyler McGarry (Fr., 6-0, 190; walk-on).
Losses: Cade Apsay (dismissed from team).
2015 recap: Liufau put together a record-breaking season in 2014, but spent last year battling injuries. He played through injuries to his shoulder and wrist, as well as other bumps and bruises, before a season-ending foot injury in Week 11. Through it all, Liufau became a bigger part of the run game (five rushing TDs) and reduced his turnovers, but CU's passing game lacked explosiveness and the Buffs struggled in the red zone. Liufau saw his touchdown passes decline from 28 in 2014 to just nine last year. Apsay became the top backup and started the final two games after Liufau was injured. Gehrke played sparingly as the No. 3 quarterback, throwing his first career touchdown pass in the finale at Utah.
2016 outlook: Liufau's health is good news for the Buffs, who may lean on his experience and leadership all season. With the best team he's had around him, Liufau could be in store for a breakout season. He enters the year needing just 13 yards to become the school's all-time leading passer, and he already has his name on 75 records. Of course, what Liufau and the Buffs want is a better win-loss record. He is just 8-21 as a starter, and for the Buffs to finally win, they need Liufau to be at his best. A better performance from the offensive line will certainly help, but Liufau needs to be sharper in the clutch (red zone, late-game situations). With Liufau out this spring, Montez took hold of the top spot and impressed coaches throughout. He's got a big arm and may be the most talented QB on the roster; he just hasn't played a snap yet. Gehrke will likely be third-string again, and if given a chance to play, he'll need to step up and perform better than he has in limited time. Ideally, Noyer will redshirt and spend a year learning the offense.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.