When the Denver Broncos hired an assistant offensive line coach earlier this week, it caused a bit of concern among the Colorado faithful.

The Broncos hired Chris Strausser away from the University of Washington, leaving the Huskies and head coach Chris Petersen without an offensive line coach.

Naturally, CU offensive line coach Klayton Adams' name surfaced as a candidate, since he played under Petersen at Boise State in the early 2000s. On Wednesday afternoon, however, Washington announced it has hired Boise State's Scott Huff to coach the line.

That's good news for CU, as Adams has been a top-notch recruiter and made significant strides with the offensive line in the past year.

CU may not have had much to worry about anyway, though.

A 2005 Boise State graduate, Adams was an all-conference center when Petersen was the offensive coordinator for the Broncos. (Strausser was Adams' position coach). Despite a good relationship with Petersen, Adams, his wife, Stefani, and their three young daughters have grown to love Boulder and CU.

After CU's practice on Wednesday morning — and a few hours before Washington announced the hiring of Huff — Adams said he had not even talked to Washington about the job.

"I know those guys (at Washington) and like those guys," he said, "but I haven't talked to anybody and I'm focused on winning at Colorado and coaching my guys."

Coaching the Buffs is a job Adams enjoys, and it's a job that has been quite busy.


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Adams is striving to find the group he can trust the most going into next season. Four starters return to the line, but it's hardly a solidified group as the Buffs wrapped up their fifth practice of spring football on Wednesday.

Competition for starting jobs is wide open, regardless of the experience level for each player. Adams doesn't want his players assuming that last year's starters will start again.

"I always liked that (open competition) as a player," he said. "I want all those guys to feel like if they work really, really hard and maybe they improve 25 percent, they're going to have an opportunity to play in the fall.

"Truthfully, I didn't feel like we were good enough last year on the offensive line to come back this year and just say, 'Hey, these guys are going to play.'"

Center Alex Kelley is the only starter lost to graduation, but the Buffs are playing this spring without left guard Gerrad Kough, who is out with an ankle injury.

Returning left tackle Jeromy Irwin has spent most of this spring at left guard and last year's starting right guard, Tim Lynott, has spent a good chunk of the spring at center.

Mixing and matching the linemen has opened up opportunities for quite few a young players, including junior Josh Kaiser, sophomores Dillon Middlemiss and Isaac Miller and redshirt freshman Hunter Vaughn.

"Some of the young guys are getting an opportunity to get a ton of reps," Adams said. "It's really exciting to watch those guys grow."

In replacing Kelley, the Buffs have relied mainly on Lynott and senior Jonathan Huckins, who has had to leave practice early most days because of his class schedule.

Adams said on Wednesday, the Buffs experimented with five different line combinations.

"It's been good to see all those different combinations," he said.

In the end, it's very possible that Irwin and Kough will retain their jobs on the left side of the line, while Lynott and Haigler remain in the starting lineup.

Adams' goal this spring, however, is to make sure that starting jobs are earned.

"Those (returning) guys have an advantage because they've played, and the other guys are gunning for their jobs," he said.

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