Fit for duty

Nick Hirschman's eye widen as his face explodes with a smile when he contemplates what it might be like to run on the field at Oklahoma on Saturday to make his college debut. He likes the idea to be sure, but he also knows something bad would have to occur to teammate Cody Hawkins for it to ever happen, and that wipes the smile off his face.

The good thing about Nick Hirschman now being thrust into the role of back up quarterback to Hawkins is that he was able to enroll in classes in Boulder in January and participate in spring ball. So Hirschman is definitely a little further along than he otherwise would be as a typical true freshman.

Still, Hirschman is first to admit he has a long way to go in learning the offense and being able to operate it at a high level under the pressure of a full stadium and a television audience on Saturdays.

"I think it would be awesome," Hirschman said when asked what he thinks it will feel like if he does have to make his college debut this week. "It's been a big dream for me to play in a game since I was in high school and I'm real excited that I could possibly have the opportunity.

"If I go in, that means Cody is hurt and that's not a good thing, but it would still be very exciting to go into a game."

Hirschman said he has prepared for every game this season as if he might play. Most weeks he has worked extensively with the scout team, which means he is not even running the CU offense during practices. That is a major reason why coaches would have to dumb down the offense if Hirschman is needed to play. You can only throw so much at any quarterback at once and Hirschman estimates he is getting about 15 to 20 practices reps this week leading up to the game.

"Coach Kiesau really stressed when he told me I was going to redshirt you have to prepare every week like you're going into the game," Hirschman said. "So the mental preparation. That has been very similar to every other week for me right now. The only big difference is I get a lot more reps with the twos and there is a possibility of me going into the game."

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