Colorado Daily – March
Nick Hirschman looking forward to quarterback competition
Let the games begin …
Many in the Buff Nation have already anointed sophomore transfer quarterback Connor Wood as the next Colorado quarterback.
Not so fast, says fellow sophomore Nick Hirschman, the only one of the four quarterbacks around this spring who have actually taken a snap in a college game.
In limited action last fall*(and one*ignoble start), Hirschman*completed 18 of 35 passes for 192 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
“I think it gives me an incredible advantage,” Hirschman said of his experience. “Things don’t look the same in practice. When I was younger playing on the scout team, it was a huge step to be playing in the real offense. Then going from playing in the real offense in practice to playing in the game is a whole other giant step. I think that on-field knowledge and that on-field experience and the roar of the crowd and seeing all those guys out there who are Division I athletes …”.
While detractors point to Hirschman’s poor performance against Arizona State in the red-shirt freshman’s first career start, there may have been an explanation.
He suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot late in August practices and underwent surgery. He rushed to come back and coaches believe he never was healthy again the rest of the season. Hirschman admitted in an interview this week that his coaches are right.
He underwent a repeat surgery this offseason and says he is nearly fully recovered, though doctors are still requiring him to wear a walking boot.
Hirschman told the Daily Camera that*the injury caused him the most problems in his drop and not when planting and throwing. He said it made him appear slower and more methodical than he normally is.
“I’m sure that during the season it was always nagging me,” he said. “It was always a problem. I wasn’t able to do certain things that I’m so used to being able to do, that I’ve been able to do my whole career playing quarterback. It was a different perspective not being able to accomplish certain things. I think it definitely affected the way I played, but like I said, it’s not like I had a choice. I had to be out there for the team.”
Head coach Jon Embree*recognizes that it will likely be a two-man race between the two sophomores – Wood and Hirschman – unless one of the red-shirt freshmen (John Schrock and Stevie Joe Dorman) impress this spring, or true freshman Shane Dillon impresses this fall. Embree indicated that he would like to name a starter this spring, but doesn’t know if that will be possible.
As to the battle between the two sophomores, Embree is amused at the outside attention the competition is already receiving.
“If I was Nick Hirschman, I’d be ecstatic because all the pressure is on Connor Wood and not me,” Embree said. “… I don’t have any preconceived notions and I know none of the coaches do either, which is the beauty of being able to be in this situation.”
Wood, though, did impress coaches and players last fall as a quarterback for the scout team.*Embree did note this week that the only player to watch more film than Connor Wood last fall was starting*quarterback Tyler Hansen.
Spring practices open Saturday, March 10th …
Offensive line prospects looking up
With less than ten days before the start of spring practices, the offensive line has some interesting storylines developing.
Junior David Bakhtiari, the Buffs’ top offensive lineman, will get spring looks at left tackle and guard. Embree said that experimentation would be done to determine the best five O-linemen. Bakhtiari started 11 of 13 games (injured for two) last fall at left tackle . . . . Another reason for the experimentation with Bakhtiari: Sophomore Alex Lewis’ development as a left tackle allows it. Embree said Lewis, who also was used frequently at tight end, “has a chance to be a very good player. I love his temperament and mindset. We’ve got to find a way for him to be on field if he continues to progress.” . . . . Redshirt freshman Stephane Nembot, an in-season transfer from offense to defense, will practice at right tackle behind returning junior Jack Harris. Harris missed most of the 2011 season with a foot/ankle injury. He’s full-go for the spring.
Colorado to have 77 players on hand for spring
The ever dwindling senior class.
With the departures of quarterback Brent Burnette and linebacker Vince Ewing, Colorado will play with eight – count ‘em – eight seniors this fall.
Of the 77 players players on hand for spring practices (57 on scholarship), there are 8 seniors, 20 juniors, 32 sophmores, and 17 freshmen (15 red-shirt; two true).
Lacrosse star makes history
Talk about your all-time trivia question …
Tori Link will be forever a part of Colorado lore.
Link not only goes into the historybooks as the first lacrosse prospect to receive a scholarship offer from CU and its first committed recruit, but also the first recruit in the history of the school in any sport to receive a four-year scholarship offer.
The NCAA recently approved legislation allowing schools to offer recruits in all sports multi-year scholarships. Before that, scholarship were good for one year and subject to review annually.
Link*told the Daily Camera*the only uncertainty she had in the week she took to consider her decision was committing to a startup program that hasn’t even hired a head coach, let alone assistant coaches yet.
“A coach means a lot to me because obviously I’ve been on plenty of teams and it makes a difference when you have a good coach,” Link said. “The fact that I’m committing without a coach is a huge risk but it’s something I’m willing to do because I love CU and I want to play there.”
She said Bohn and Barry asked for her opinion on what qualities she would like them to seek in a head coach. Link said that meant a lot to her.
Link’s father, Rob, attended Boulder High School where he was a star tight end. He began his college career at Nebraska, and after an injury ended his football playing days, he returned home and finished his degree at CU — where he met his wife, Tori’s mother Sharon.
Link is an honor student at Cherry Creek. The high school junior was proud to be in position to be a part of history.
“Oh my gosh, it will hold a place in my heart for the rest of my life,” Link said. ” It will be something I tell my grandkids. It’s so exciting. I can’t believe it. I’m so honored.”
Originally posted by CU At the Game
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