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CU@Game CU At The Game: Spring Ball: Position Battles

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    Spring Practices: Position Battles




    Spring practice opens on March 4th. In the days leading up to the opening of spring ball, we will use this heading to take a look at each unit on the team, with a check of the roster, injury updates, and roster position battles.



    Spring Practices … By the numbers

    Spring Practices open Friday, March 4th, with the Spring Game on Saturday, April 9th (12:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks, KOA radio). The final practice will be Monday, April 11th.

    Tentative practice dates: March 4-5-7-9-11-14-16 … Spring Break … March 28-30 … April 1-4-6-8-11.

    Teams are allowed 15 practices over 29 days (spring break doesn’t count). Teams are allowed, per NCAA rules: three in shorts (no contact), four in pads (no tackling), four in pads (tackling allowed 50 percent or less of the practice and four in pads (with tackling throughout).



    —–

    Quarterbacks


    Players lost: None

    Seniors: Sefo Liufau, Jordan Gehrke

    Juniors: T.J. Patterson

    Sophomores: Cade Apsay

    Red-shirt freshmen: Steven Montez, Tyler McGarry

    Coming this fall: Sam Noyer

    bold = starter in 2015; italics = non-scholarship player



    2015 statistics for returning players:

    – Sefo Liufau … 11 games … 214-of-344 (62.2%), 2,418 yards … 9 touchdowns; 6 interceptions … sacked 23 times

    – Cade Apsay … 5 games … 59-of-92 (64.1%), 582 yards … 3 touchdowns; 5 interceptions … sacked 14 times

    – Jordan Gehrke … 3 games … 12-of-24 (50%), 116 yards … 1 touchdown; 1 interception … sacked four times



    What to Watch For this Spring

    The first two months of the off-season have been anything but boring when it comes to the quarterback position at the University of Colorado.

    Spring practices, however, could be a bit anti-climatic in comparison.

    First, let’s take a look at who will not be participating in spring practices:

    Sefo Liufau … The starting quarterback for Colorado for much of the past three seasons, Liufau will not be participating in spring practices, and may not be available at all in 2015. Injured during the first half of the USC game in November, Liufau’s future status remains uncertain. CU head coach Mike MacIntyre used the word “serious” no fewer than four times to describe Liufau’s injury during his Signing Day press conference: “I’ve been through six lisfrancs and all of them are different. It’s called lisfranc for a reason, it’s a serious injury … He has a broken lisfranc, that is a serious, serious, serious injury”.

    So I guess it’s serious.

    Davis Webb … The Texas Tech senior transfer technically is not a Buff just yet. Webb did not sign a Letter of Intent on Signing Day, but a financial aid agreement. While it is doubtful that Webb will be anything other than a Buff this fall, he still has to graduate from Texas Tech in May before becoming a Colorado student in June. Webb is nine credits away from graduating, and, as a result, will be spending this spring in Lubbock, not Boulder.

    Sheriron Jones … The former four-star quarterback was a Buff … for about two weeks in January. The Buff Nation was excited about the possibility of having Jones join the team, but Jones decided to return to his first school, Tennessee. “My job is to work with the whole person,” MacIntyre said. “Each player is unique and comes with unique needs and concerns. Throughout the past couple of weeks, Sheriron and I have spent a lot of time trying to sort out his circumstances. We have concluded that it is in his best interests for him to return to Tennessee.”

    Sam Noyer … Noyer is a three-star quarterback who signed with the Buffs this February. Noyer had only a handful of scholarship offers before he committed to Colorado last June. Arizona State, Oregon, Nebraska and Oregon State continued to recruit Noyer even after his commitment, but he stuck with the Buffs. “He’s big, close to 6-4, and he’s been hitting the weight room hard”, said MacInytre of Noyer on Signing Day. “Being able to improvise when the play breaks down, and still look down the field and throw the football is something you saw over and over in his high school films”. Noyer will report to Colorado this summer, but will be enjoying prom and graduation in Beaverton, Oregon, during CU’s spring practices.



    So, who’s left?

    The only scholarship players who remain at quarterback for Spring practices are senior Jordan Gehrke, sophomore Cade Apsay, and red-shirt freshman Steven Montez.

    Both Gehrke and Apsay have had starts at quarterback during their careers in Boulder, so there is at least a book on those two.

    As a result, many eyes this spring will be upon red-shirt freshman Steven Montez.

    A three-star recruit from the Class of 2015, the 6’5″, 230-pound Montez sat out his red-shirt season last fall, and still has all four years of eligibility remaining. “It’s a huge opportunity for all of us, really, to go out there and show what we have, show what we’ve got,” Montez told the Daily Camera when asked about spring practices. “That’s going to be a great time for competition and just to go out and do the thing we love and play football.”

    “Steven is big, strong, athletic and has a big arm,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “I think Steven has a good future ahead of him. He just needs to keep getting experience.

    “He needs to keep working on all the different attributes of the quarterback position and get more and more well-rounded. That takes time of getting reps and he’s going to get a ton of reps this spring, which is going to help him accelerate that.”



    And don’t forget …

    Former Air Force quarterback Jaleel Awini saw some action behind center in the season finale against Utah, and may be asked to take some reps this spring. Awini was in for 139 plays as a linebacker last fall, recording 21 tackles. Considering the lack of available bodies the CU coaching staff has on hand for the spring, however, it would not be a surprise to see Awini play some quarterback this spring.

    … Okay, so perhaps spring practices will not be anti-climactic for the quarterback position after all …



    Up Next: Running Backs

    Stuart
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