Countdown to signing day: Quarterbacks

National signing day is a week away and Colorado is expected to sign its largest class since 2002. Today we begin a look at each position grouping. What the Buffs have, who they are expected to add, what they still need. Get inside for more.

Connor Wood stole Shane Dillon's thunder.

Wood, a former four-star blue-chip recruit, transferred to Colorado from Texas late last summer after finishing third in the August quarterback battle in Austin.

If not for Wood's presence on the roster in Boulder, we might be talking about Dillon having a legitimate opportunity to start as a true freshman next fall.

Dillon is a 6-foot-5, 185-pound strong armed passer from El Cajon, Calif. who committed to CU last summer and is expected to be the only quarterback the Buffs take in the 2012 recruiting class. He finished seventh at the Elite 11 camp/competition last summer as one of 24 quarterbacks invited. ranks him the 28th best quarterback in the 2012 recruiting class. He led his team to a CIF San Diego Section D5 championship.

Dillon will be the sixth quarterback on the CU roster heading into 2012, joining Wood, sophomore Nick Hirschman, redshirt freshman John Schrock, redshirt freshman Stevie Joe Dorman and senior Brent Burnette.

Connor Wood

Maybe we shouldn't be ruling out Dillon from competing for the starting gig next fall. Sure, he won't have the benefit of spring ball that every other QB on the list will have, but the fact is, there is virtually no playing experience at the major college level among CU's six quarterbacks.

Hirschman played in five games for the Buffs last season with one start. He didn't throw a touchdown pass or an interception, but he took most of his snaps in mop-up duty as Tyler Hansen's backup. He didn't fare well in his only start at Arizona State. He threw two bad passes early in the game and both were dropped by defenders or otherwise would have been intercepted. Coaches replaced him with Hansen even though the senior was coming off a concussion and hadn't practiced for much of the week.

Hirschman is expected to miss at least half of spring ball after surgery on a nagging foot problem.

Nick Hirschman

Burnette played in nine games, also primarily as a backup, when he was at Middle Tennessee in 2009. He is also one of only two players on the CU roster with any bowl game experience playing in the New Orleans Bowl that year in a win over Southern Miss.

Burnette did nothing consistently well in spring or summer practices last year and did not play in his first year as a Buff. He will have to make major strides this year just to get into the conversation at quarterback.

John Schrock came to CU as an invited walk-on from the Kansas City area last summer and he made a big impression outplaying both Burnette and Dorman, who are both on scholarship. We wouldn't be surprised to see Schrock continue to impress and improve. He could earn playing time down the road as a backup, but it seems like the program would have to hit some major bumps for him to earn the starting job with five scholarship players at the position with him.

Dorman is a work in progress just like most of the others here, but he has a long way to go and must find more confidence to take his game up a few notches. Fortunately, he has time, but he also can't afford to be too patient. He has to do everything with a greater sense of urgency.

Stevie Joe Dorman

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