The big football story around these parts recently has been the Denver Broncos' courtship of Peyton Manning. Now University of Colorado football coaches have their eyes on a free agent quarterback, too.
Coach Jon Embree is apparently concerned enough about his program's lack of experience under center that he is exploring the possibility of adding former Kansas starting quarterback Jordan Webb, a junior with two years of eligibility remaining, to the roster.
Webb, a two-year starter the past two seasons for the Jayhawks, will graduate from Kansas in May which enables him to transfer to any school without having to sit out the customary year under NCAA rules.
2012 CU football schedule
Sunday, Sept. 2 - Colorado State, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Saturday, Sept. 8 - Sacramento State at Folsom Field
Saturday, Sept. 15 - At Fresno State
Saturday, Sept. 22 - At Washington State
Saturday, Sept. 29 - UCLA at Folsom Field
Thursday, Oct. 11 - Arizona State at Folsom Field
Saturday, Oct. 20 - At Southern California
Saturday, Oct. 27 - At Oregon
Saturday, Nov. 3 - Stanford at Folsom Field
Saturday, Nov. 10 - At Arizona
Saturday, Nov. 17 - Washington at Folsom Field
Friday, Nov. 23 - Utah at Folsom Field
Webb told the Camera in an interview today he is interested in the Buffs because he sees opportunity in Boulder. None of the active quarterbacks on the CU roster this spring have ever played in a college game. Sophomore Nick Hirschman is out this spring after undergoing surgery on his broken right foot, but when he returns this summer, he only adds five partial games of experience to the group.
"That's the main reason I'm leaving Kansas because I want playing time or at least an opportunity for it and if I go in and work hard at learning the offense and things like that I could have a good shot," Webb said.
CU sophomore Connor Wood, a transfer from Texas, is considered the frontrunner to earn the starting job in Boulder in 2012, but if Webb joined the program, that dynamic could change.
Webb said he began talking with CU coaches a month ago before Hirschman was injured. He said Kansas walk-on wide receiver Connor Embree, the youngest son of CU coach Jon Embree, helped put him in touch with CU coaches.
Webb traveled to Boulder today and will spend time with coaches and players over the next two days. He has been in Boulder once before, making the trip during his freshman season in 2009 when CU upset the Jayhawks.
Webb also was on the sideline in Lawrence, Kan., two years ago when the Jayhawks pulled off one of the largest come-from-behind victories in NCAA history scoring 35-unanswered points to overcome the Buffs' 28-point fourth-quarter lead. Webb was injured and did not play that day, but that outcome led to the firing of former CU coach Dan Hawkins and Embree's hiring.
Kansas changed coaches this offseason firing former coach Turner Gill and hiring Charlie Weis. Webb said he made the decision to leave Kansas when Weis told him he would not be in the competition for playing time with the Jayhawks next season if he remained with the program.
Webb played in a multiple offense under Gill the past two years. He has nearly 20 career starts to his credit. He played in 12 games in 2011 completing 64 percent of his passes for 1,884 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
He said the Jayhawks started fast last season and he was playing well early, but the whole team faded. Webb says he believes his skills would work well in the Buffs' pro-style system.
"From talking to coach (Rip) Scherer, he definitely thinks I have the right attributes to fit into the offense," Webb said.
Webb, who was a high school standout in St. Louis, said he plans to visit Wisconsin in April and has also been talking with North Texas and Murray State, a Football Championship Subdivision program.
"Pretty much the first half of the year, we had a really productive and for me, my third down conversions and third down completions were really big," he said. "I think that's huge. I mean, that's a quarterback down. And that's kind of where you see what you've got at the quarterback position."
Webb said he isn't sure when he will make a decision about his future. He said the biggest factor in his decision will be the likelihood of earning playing time or maybe even a starting job wherever he goes.
Hirschman attended practice for the first time Thursday following his foot surgery. …Embree said defensive back Parker Orms will likely miss the rest of spring ball after suffering a hamstring injury in Tuesday's practice. Tight end Nick Kasa sat out Thursday but should return next week. ...Former CU quarterback Tyler Hansen roamed the sidelines Thursday as well.Hirschman attended practice for the first time Thursday following his foot surgery. …Embree said defensive back Parker Orms will likely miss the rest of spring ball after suffering a hamstring injury in Tuesday's practice. Tight end Nick Kasa sat out Thursday but should return next week. ...Former CU quarterback Tyler Hansen roamed the sidelines Thursday as well.