Things just got interesting under center in Boulder.
Say this for the Colorado football program — perhaps inspired by desperation, or simply the natural progression of a program that believes it has battled its way toward better traction, CU barely turned the page on 2015 before making a series of impressive moves with an eye on 2016 and beyond.
Whether head coach Mike MacIntyre prolongs his CU tenure beyond his upcoming fourth season remains to be seen, but give the coach and his staff credit for increasing the talent level at the most important position on the field to a level not seen in the decade since Gary Barnett left town.
The dominos began to fall with the shrewd hiring of Darrin Chiaverini as the team’s wide receivers coach, with duties that include the titles of co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
Prying the 38-year old from Texas Tech, the former CU wide receiver brought with him an immediate infusion of enthusiasm. It remains to be seen how Chiaverini will impact an offense that, overall, took a step backward in 2015. Yet if it’s anywhere close to the impact Chiaverini already has made on the recruiting trail just one month into the job, Buffs fans should be encouraged.
The most promising coup so far was the announcement that quarterback Sheriron Jones would join the Buffs as a transfer from Tennessee. A four-star recruit a year ago, Jones retained a good impression of Boulder from his official visit during high school. He also was impressed with Chiaverini as he was recruited by Texas Tech, making his move to CU after a redshirt season at Tennessee feel like a perfect fit.
Jones will have three years of eligibility after he sits out a transfer season in 2016. Yet Chiaverini’s presence already may be turning the Buffs’ fortunes under center this fall.
CU is one of the potential destinations for quarterback transfer Davis Webb. Where Jones remains enticing with future potential, Webb is a proven commodity who threw for 5,557 yards and 46 touchdowns during his time with the Red Raiders.
Moreover, as a graduate transfer Webb would be eligible immediately to play this fall for CU. While the matter is far from official, Webb’s desire to play during his final season of eligibility after getting supplanted as Texas Tech’s starter, combined with his familiar relationship with Chiaverini, makes it easy to connect the dots and picture Webb in black and gold in the near future.
The addition of Jones and potential addition of Webb bolsters a QB corps already set to improve with Steven Montez, a true freshman last year, expected to compete for playing time. Add incumbent starter Sefo Liufau (his foot injury will keep Liufau sidelined during spring practice but he is expected to be 100 percent by the end of the summer) and Cade Apsay to the mix, and for the first time since they joined the Pac-12 Conference, the Buffs might boast a backup quarterback who could be a bona fide starter for another team in the league.
It is easy to wonder if the incoming transfer(s) situation is a matter of fortuitous timing or a sign of desperation from MacIntyre after posting a 2-25 Pac-12 record through his first three seasons. Regardless, give the man and his staff credit for their work during a short window of time in improving CU’s long-term fortunes on offense.