Josh Moten has his life back.

The Colorado freshman football player always knew that would happen, but it came with a bonus. He has his reputation back, too.

Moten was off to a good start in school and on the football field earlier this fall after coming to CU last January from Carson, Calif, where he starred as a high school quarterback. He was a member of the 2009 recruiting class who delayed his enrollment one semester, a practice known as grayshirting.

He was playing defensive back on the field and was starting to feel at home off it, but then it all disappeared in a few moments and he found himself in a Boulder County jail cell wondering if he had just squandered his future.

University of Colorado’s Josh Moten (left) covers Travon Patterson (right) during football practice in Boulder, Colorado August 9, 2010.  CAMERA/Mark
University of Colorado's Josh Moten (left) covers Travon Patterson (right) during football practice in Boulder, Colorado August 9, 2010. CAMERA/Mark Leffingwell ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )

Late at night in mid-October he was walking across campus when he was confronted by a former girlfriend who asked him for a pair of earrings and slapped him, according to a police report.

Moten reacted to protect himself and pushed the girl away. Police responded and she reported feeling pain. Moten was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and domestic violence. He was suspended by the school and the football program and had everything he had worked so hard for taken away.

It wasn`t until several days later after subsequent interviews that police and prosecutors learned the girlfriend`s slap initiated the incident andshe was cited, too. The charges against Moten were eventually dropped last month and his suspension has now been lifted. He`s allowed to participate in all football related activities again.

"I was devastated," Moten said. "I mean, who actually thinks when they come to school they`re going to get a third-degree assault domestic violence charge? No one thinks like that. So when it actually happens to that person you`re like, 'Wow. What?`

"It was definitely a distraction. It caused problems big time, but at the end of the day it resolved itself and now I`m just trying to push forward and not think about it anymore."

Once he was suspended, Moten was not allowed to practice the rest of the season, from mid-October on. He said losing those last six weeks on the field really hurt and set back his development as a cornerback.

But if he has his way, it might not really matter.

When the team was first introduced to Jon Embree a week ago, something the new coach said caught Moten`s ear. Embree told players he was willing to consider allowing them to change positions if anyone wanted to try playing somewhere new.

Moten was recruited to CU as a quarterback. Former coach Dan Hawkins promised him an opportunity to play under center before he would be moved anywhere else, but Moten was practicing elsewhere from Day One in Boulder. He tried a little wide receiver and settled at defensive back.

But he never stopped wanting that chance to play quarterback and he said Thursday that he plans to ask Embree to let him make the switch starting in spring ball.

"I don`t want to say that he didn`t give me a shot because a lot of that was on me," Moten said. "I kind of listened to some people who said, 'Oh Josh, you will do great at corner.` I kind of fed into the hype. I stayed there when I should have went back to quarterback."

Moten is in a great situation because he has the ability to play two positions where the program can use some new talent.

At quarterback next season, the program will have senior Tyler Hansen but no one with any real experience behind him.

Redshirt freshmen Nick Hirschman and Justin Gorman were on the team this year but they will be learning another new offense right along with Hansen next year. And true freshman Brock Berglund will have all the challenges of adjusting to college life to deal with on top of football.

Moten sees those facts and thinks, "Why not give it a shot?"

He is a true dual-threat quarterback, a coveted characteristic these days in the college game. He accounted for 3,340 yards of total offense and 33 touchdowns in his senior year in high school.

"I love it," he said of playing quarterback. "I have fun doing it. At least give me a shot and see if I can do good at it. If not, then I don`t have any problem with you. No issues, no tension. I`ll just go play where I fit in on the field."

Meanwhile, he also has some experience practicing at the college level at cornerback and the program is thin there as well as it tries to replace departing seniors Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown. It might be Moten`s best chance to earn his first playing time.

Moten said he ran into new defensive coordinator Greg Brown this week and told him his plan and Brown said he is welcome back on defense at any time.

"I don`t have a problem playing corner," Moten said. "The guys on the team are telling me that I`m actually getting better. Right now, I feel like I can play both. So when I get back in January I`ll see what direction it takes."

Pitman released

CU fired strength and conditioning coach Jeff Pitman on Thursday as expected. His replacement could be named as soon as today when the school is finally expected to identify its 2011 assistant football coaches.

It is a list that is no secret at this point.

Eric Bieniemy is the offensive coordinator, Greg Brown is the defensive coordinator. Longtime linebackers coach Brian Cabral remains in that role. The defensive tackles will be coached by Mike Tuiasosopo. Defensive ends and outside linebackers will be coached by former Buff Kanavis McGhee.

Steve Marshall left the Cal program for a second stint as offensive line coach in Boulder and J.D. Brookhart will coach tight ends and special teams. Former Pittsburgh and Stanford head coach Walt Harris will likely coach quarterbacks and former CU offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau will likely coach wide receivers.

One possible replacement for Pitman as strength and conditioning coach is Jeff Madden, who held the job in Boulder for three years beginning in 1989. He is currently the strength and conditioning coach at Texas but has a strong relationship with Bieniemy and many other former CU players.

Notable

Former CU tight ends and special teams coach Kent Riddle has landed an assistant coaching job with the same duties at North Texas under Dan McCarney. Riddle spent the past five seasons in Boulder under Hawkins and came to CU with Hawkins from Boise State.