W hen spring practices started last month, we posed five questions that seemed to need answers by the time the Buffs completed their 15 sessions on the field. Here is a look at what transpired.

QB question -- Will someone establish himself as the man to beat for the starting quarterback job?

QB answer -- Tyler Hansen clearly separated himself with consistency and will be the starter when the 2011 season kicks off barring some unforeseen circumstances. CU fans need to hope for a healthy season for Hansen because there is major uncertainty behind him.

Center question -- Who fills the void created by Mike Iltis` injury at center?

Center answer -- Redshirt freshman Daniel Munyer was the most consistent of the underclassmen vying for a spot on the depth chart here, but no one was so good that Iltis would have reason to worry. Once he returns from his second torn ACL, Iltis should be the starter and fellow senior Shawn Daniels is likely to be his backup with Munyer a year away from a major role.

Run game question -- How will the running game develop?

Run game answer -- By all accounts converted linebackers Tyler Ahles and Evan Harrington adapted well to playing fullback.


Coach Jon Embree praised the offense for developing a more physical style of play and some toughness. Senior running back Rodney Stewart has looked solid and doesn`t appear to be in any danger of losing his starting job. Redshirt freshman Tony Jones also has progressed and seems capable of filling in for Stewart when needed. Brian Lockridge might not be healthy in time for the start of the season and there could be playing time available for a true freshman.

Corner question -- Who fills the void at cornerback left by departed seniors Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown?

Corner answer -- CU coaches have been disappointed by the lack of consistency here. There have been flashes by just about every player in the mix and there might be a depth chart issued following the spring game with two players at the top, but no one has established himself as a clear-cut starter. This battle will continue into fall camp. Our guess is that the two starting jobs will come down to Jered Bell, Deji Olatoye and Jonathan Hawkins. Parker Orms and Travis Sandersfeld will likely battle for the nickel back spot.

Kicker question -- Can Justin Castor and Zach Grossnickle be depended on at place-kicker and punter or will coaches be looking to freshman Will Oliver in the fall?

Kicker answer -- Castor seems to have built some confidence this spring, but there is reason to believe Oliver could win the job in his first season in college if he proves more consistent in August. It will be an interesting competition. Coaches have been disappointed that Grossnickle hasn`t been more consistent. They expect more of him heading into his third year in the program.