Colorado's fifth-year senior receiver wanted to be a Buff, though, and it paid off with his best moment in a CU uniform on Saturday.
Ebner caught his first career touchdown pass, a 17-yarder from Jordan Webb in the second quarter, during the Buffs' 42-14 loss to UCLA. At the time, it was a big play, as it cut UCLA's lead to 14-7.
"It was awesome," said Ebner, who had a career-high two catches for 28 yards. "It was just a great experience to celebrate with my team in the end zone and know that all the hard work that I've been putting in has paid off."
During his senior year at Pomona High School, in 2007, Ebner caught 42 passes for 815 yards and nine touchdowns - numbers that likely could have earned him a spot at a smaller school.
"Regardless of if I was going to be playing football in college, I wanted to be at the University of Colorado," he said. "That's why I decided to walk-on."
After redshirting in 2008, Ebner caught three passes for 15 yards in 2009, but didn't have another catch until two weeks ago, during CU's 69-14 loss at Fresno State. He has played a lot this year, but mostly as a run blocker. His two catches Saturday upped his career total to six.
"The thing with run blocking is that it's all effort and that's what I really strive for in myself, just to go out there and put all my effort into each play," said Ebner, who was rewarded with a scholarship after the 2011 season. "So, being rewarded with pass plays is awesome, to get that recognition. Not everybody recognizes when you're blocking."
He was recognized on Saturday, but forgot to keep the ball from his touchdown.
"It was more important for me to celebrate with the team than to remember to hold onto that ball," he said.
A first for Hirschman
Backup quarterback Nick Hirschman threw the first touchdown pass of his career, a 31-yarder to Nick Kasa late in the fourth quarter.
"It was really exciting to get the first touchdown of my career, but it's hard to be excited when we lose like that," the redshirt sophomore said.
Hirschman completed 2 of 3 passes for 42 yards.
Kasa is emerging as a productive tight end in his first full season playing the position.
Unfortunately, the 6-4 senior's touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was too late to spark a comeback, unlike Kasa's 70-yard touchdown reception at Washington State.
During three seasons playing on the defensive line, Kasa never recovered a fumble. He recovered his second fumble in as many weeks Saturday.
Rubbing it in
UCLA senior receiver Joseph Fauria got his first chance to play in the stadium that his uncle, Christian, made home from 1991-94. Christian was a standout tight end for the Buffs.
"It was crazy. Apparently I haven't been here since I was 2 ½ years old and it was good to be in this stadium," Fauria said.
The younger Fauria caught two passes for 20 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown that put UCLA ahead 28-7 in the third quarter.
"It was awesome; I can't wait to rub it in his face," he joked.
Odd man out
With sophomore cornerback Greg Henderson back in the lineup after nursing an ankle injury, freshman Yuri Wright was relegated to the bench.
Wright had started the previous three games, but didn't see much of the field on Saturday, as Henderson and Kenneth Crawley got the starting nods.
Center of attention
Daniel Munyer started for the second consecutive game at center instead of right guard.
Brad Cotner started at center against Fresno State but is out indefinitely with turf toe; regular starter Gus Handler has missed the last three games with an ankle sprain.
The patchwork offensive line allowed Jordan Webb to be sacked four times on Saturday and CU has allowed 24 sacks on the season.
Kenneth Crawley continues to impress. On Saturday the true freshman cornerback led the Buffs with eight tackles and had a pass break up.
Redshirt freshman Kirk Poston also played at a high level with two sacks and a forced fumble.
Linebacker Jon Major missed the second half with a leg contusion.
"I couldn't bend my leg halfway through," he said. "It's a good thing it's the bye week; I'll be back."
Tailback Christian Powell (hip) also left the game in the first half, and defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe was hobbling on a sore left ankle after the game.
The Buffs converted just 2 of 15 third-down attempts. UCLA was 7-for-15 on third downs. ... Receiver Tyler McCulloch had a career-high seven catches (for 69 yards). ... Defensive tackle Nate Bonsu recorded his first career sack. ... Linebacker Paul Vigo and defensive tackle Josh Tupou both played after suffering concussions a week earlier.