Mark Helfrich isn’t worried about his quarterbacks.
The recent departure of Matt Ballenger does not create a shift in focus, Helfrich, CU’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach said.
“We are trying to get better as a team, and obviously the quarterback, if not the most important position, is one of the most important position on the field,” Helfrich said.
Head coach Dan Hawkins shares Helfrich’s perspective.
Hawkins said that even with the loss of players, due to graduation or simply choosing to leave, the CU football team must “keep grinding it, keep practicing, keep watching film and work on the details.”
“We are certainly focused on the guys that we have here,” Helfrich said.
The loss of Ballenger and wide receiver Chance Blackmon made immediate headlines, as both players came from positions that had trouble gaining positive numbers during the 2008 season.
“We are going to wish Matt (Ballenger) the best wherever he goes,” Helfrich said.
Helfrich praised remaining quarterbacks Tyler Hansen and Cody Hawkins for their efforts.
“We are happy with the development of Tyler and Cody this spring,” Helfrich said.
Hansen, a 19-year-old open-option major, admitted that he will miss the departing teammate.
“He was a good field player. We’re going to miss him out here,” Hansen said. “He definitely increased our playmaking ability.”
Although Hansen and Hawkins shared playing time last season, Hansen believes that a decision for quarterback needs to be reached.
“This team needs a stability guy,” Hansen said. “That will be the best for the team.”
According to Helfrich, it is still too early to decide, and he does not expect to make “any big changes at all,” at the quarterback position.
“The biggest key there is that we’re playing well at that position,” Helfrich said. “And they are different enough in how they play, that I think it’s not a situation (of concern). We won’t have to decide that this spring at all.”
However, the 2009 recruiting class is also creating a buzz, which includes the top-ranked football player in that state Colorado, Nick Kasa.
Coach Hawkins said that he is delighted with the players that have chosen to attend CU.
“I like all those guys, I think they are all going get here and be great kids, students and football players, and they have got all the earmarking of just being real solid across the board,” Hawkins said. “We’ll see how fast they can adapt and get ready to go. I think given time all those guys are going to be good players.”
Hansen, despite the loss of a teammate, also remains optimistic.
“I’m going to miss Matt,” Hansen said. “He was one of my boys. I miss joking around with him. And about this (upcoming) year, I’m excited. We’ve got a really talented team, (and) there are a lot of playmakers around, especially on offense. I hope everyone comes out and watches us.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Esteban Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.