Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday roster shuffle

CU head football coach Jon Embree was a busy guy yesterday.  As promised, he ended the spring portion of practices by anointing a starting QB and booting 5 players off the team

The first move, which surprises exactly no one, was the ascension of Tyler Hansen once again into the starting QB role.  While Tyler was never named the starter coming out of spring under Hawk, he had been  listed on top of the depth chart numerous times over his career.  Every time he would get leapfrogged by mini-Hawk, resulting in a 3-year career littered with burned red-shirts and too few opportunities to show what he can do.  I have no doubt that Tyler will be the QB all season, but I think it would only be human nature for him to constantly look over his shoulder.  Don't worry, Tyler; mini-Hawk aint walking through that door, and there's a new sheriff in town.  Embo wouldn't do you like that.  Enjoy your senior season and kick some ass!
Tyler finally has #1 all to himself.  From: the BDC
I take it as no small measure that Coach Embree took the step to name a starter at this point.  For the first time since 2005, the Buffs will head into summer knowing who their QB will be on opening day.  Hawk loved to play games with the roster.  He purposefully left his players in the dark in order to both foster continued competition and keep opponents from keying on players prior to the start of the season.  Instead, it ended up fostering an atmosphere of confusion and suspicion, while keeping the units from clicking till about week 6.

I understand the goal of protecting the integrity of the depth chart by pushing kids to be better, but Hawk went about it the wrong way.  Tyler earned the spot, he's going to be the #1, so announce it now and let him lead his team.  It's as simple as that.

The other news from yesterday was the summary dismissal of 5 players from the team.  Sr OG Max Tuioti-Mariner, Jr WR Will Jefferson, Jr DE Forrest West, and Fr TE's Harold Mobley and Henley Griffon were all given red tags in their lockers on Tuesday.  Coach Embree had been saying for weeks that players who were not committed to both the classroom and the field, and who couldn't play at this level, wouldn't be welcome under his new regime.  Today we saw the first casualties from that refusal to accept Hawk's commitment to bleh.

Overall, the list isn't overly earth-shattering.  I was a little surprised about MTM; despite a rash of ligament tears, he had always shown promise.  It's a shame he couldn't stay healthy, cause he would have been an interestinng option at guard.  Jefferson, despite having played in the spring game, apparently has a knee injury that will permanently sideline him.  Hawk had scraped the bottom of the barrel to grab Jefferson, but Will had also shown some promise.  West had gotten a little playing time last year, and the two TE's had quietly taken their redshirts. 

The two injuries and three out-right cuts may not drastically change the fall roster, but they do further the process of Embree taking over the team.  It's always ugly when scholarships are not renewed, and I hope all 5 kids find opportunities elsewhere, but at least we're moving forward.

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