Colorado football: Freshmen QB recruits ready to compete for Buffs

When he was introduced as Colorado’s head football coach on Dec. 4, Deion Sanders let Buffs fans know his son, Shedeur, would be coming with him.

“This is your quarterback,” Sanders said that day.

A rising junior who starred for two seasons at Jackson State, Shedeur is almost guaranteed to be the Buffs’ new starter, but that isn’t the only intriguing change to the quarterback room.

Following a 1-11 season and coaching change, CU is overhauling the position, including signing two high school recruits, Ryan Staub and Kasen Weisman, last month.

“I’m super excited,” said Staub, a three-star prospect from West Ranch (Calif.) High School, who threw for 3,008 yards, 37 touchdowns and only five interceptions as a senior. “Right now it’s one of the most exciting opportunities in the entire country. Obviously, I committed about a year ago or 11 months ago and I feel like I hit the jackpot and I can’t be more excited.”

Weisman had been committed to Kansas before visiting CU in mid-December and signing with the Buffs just a few days later.

“When this opportunity came along, it was kind of hard not to take it,” said Weisman, a three-star recruit from South Paulding (Ga.) High School who threw for 1,756 yards, 15 TDs and nine INTs as a senior. “It’s beautiful out there, a lot of stuff to do and the football program’s about to be on the national scale really soon.”

To become nationally relevant in the standings, CU needs better play at quarterback. The Buffs have had one of the worst offenses in the country the past two seasons and the passing game has been dreadful.

Improvement starts with Shedeur Sanders, who threw twice as many touchdown passes this year at Jackson State (40) as CU has thrown the past two years combined (20).

Improvement also is on the shoulders of Staub and Weisman, who are eager to be a part of new regime.

“(Shedeur Sanders) has played a lot of football,” Weisman said. “He’s broken a lot of records where he was at and I want to sit behind someone like that and learn for a year, year and a half or something like that, and just get my feet wet around someone like that. … I’m just ready to get up there and work and win some football games.”

Staub originally committed to CU under previous head coach Karl Dorrell and previous offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford. When the staff was fired, Staub was nervous about his future, but coach Sanders and new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Sean Lewis, wanted him to stick with CU.

“It was a huge relief, yeah,” Staub said. “It’s still my dream school and the place that I want to go. I’m super excited. I can’t wait to get acclimated and to get into the strength and conditioning program and just learn that offense and start competing as soon as I can.”

CU went into last season with five scholarship quarterbacks, but for now only two remain (senior JT Shrout and sophomore Drew Carter). The other three have transferred out of the program: Brendon Lewis (committed to Nevada); Owen McCown (UTSA); and Maddox Kopp.

With so much change, CU needed both Staub and Weisman. It’s rare for a Power 5 program to recruit two high school quarterbacks in the same class. CU hasn’t done it since 2005 (Mack Brown and Patrick Devenny), but Staub and Weisman aren’t fazed by it.

“(Staub) seems like a great kid,” Weisman said. “At the end of the day, I’m not scared of competition. I’m going in to win the job. That’s my mindset and I don’t care who’s in front of me. At the end of the day, we’re all teammates, we’re all gonna be brothers. Competition brings the greatest out of people I think.”

Staub is looking forward to it, as well.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “I think the room needs, obviously, depth, so it’s no surprise that they’re going to take two freshmen. I think it’s a great opportunity for the both of us.

“I think it’s a new opportunity where, while you’re competing, you’re also trying to soak everything in and trying to learn and grow as much as you can. Down the road, that’s what’s gonna benefit me the most is trying to just get better every single day and compete at the same time. So it’s all going to work together and try to make me the best player I could possibly be.”

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