BOULDER - Tyler Hansen did all he could to impress the University of Colorado coaches.
It was enough to land him the starting quarterback job.
CU released its first depth chart of the fall on Saturday and Hansen, who has
worked with the No. 1 offense throughout camp, topped Cody Hawkins at quarterback.
"It feels really nice and I'm looking forward to it," said Hansen, who was
informed of the decision on Friday. "It's a challenge."
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior took over for Hawkins as the starting quarterback for the final seven games of 2009. Hansen also came out of spring ball atop the depth
CU made it an open competition for the fall, however, because Hawkins has 28
starts under his belt. This is the first time since 2006 that Hawkins will not
be the starter at the beginning of the season.
Following the team's scrimmage on Thursday, both quarterback, head coach Dan Hawkins and offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau expressed how well both players had performed throughout camp.
Dan Hawkins reiterated that on Saturday.
"I think their numbers are way above what we've done before," coach Hawkins
said. "That's due to a lot of factors, but we're getting pretty efficient play out of our quarterbacks and you've got to have that."
The coach also commended both players for how they've handled the quarterback battle.
"We have two really good ones, you know, and we're very fortunate that way," coach Hawkins said. "They both have not been in an enviable position, but they've both handled it great, the whole time. We'll need both of them. Cody's got to be ready."
Hansen, who has nine career starts, is eager to go into the season as the starter. The Buffs play Colorado State on Sept. 4.
"It feels really good," he said. "Two weeks is a lot of time and you can do a lot of thinking and get your mind right for the game."
Perhaps the biggest surprise from Saturday's depth chart was at outside
linebacker. Junior Tyler Ahles is listed as the starter ahead of senior B.J. Beatty, who started 10 games in 2009.
Coach Hawkins said that was a neck-and-neck battle, but said he's been impressed with Ahles.
"He's really growing up. I'm really proud
of him," Hawkins said.
Junior Josh Hartigan has moved into the starting lineup at defensive end.
"All he's done is just work his tail off," coach Hawkins said. "All I know is who shows up and who works and who gets it done."
Hartigan and Marquez Herrod are the
starters at end, but Hawkins said a lot of
players will get playing time at those
At receiver, senior Scotty McKnight and newcomers Toney Clemons and Travon Patterson are listed atop the depth chart. Will Jefferson and Paul Richardson are expected to be on the field quite a bit, too.