If you have a moment, let me tell you a story. It is a tale that spans from Houston to Boulder. On the surface you may only see a FBS quarterback. Looking closer there is something more.
Just a few days ago Colorado announced their starting quarterback entering the 2012 season. The name was not a high school phenom from the state of Texas, it was much lesser known signal-caller from Missouri by the name of Jordan Webb.
Head coach Jon Embree and his staff decided on the Kansas transfer over the Texas transfer.
I present the curios case of Connor Wood.
On the basis of athletic accolades, Connor Wood was in rare territory. A high school career as impressive as a view from the Grand Canyon, Wood was a big time get for any program.
A SuperPrep and PrepStar All-American as a senior, Wood was also the 14th best QB prospect nationally as rated by Rivals. As far as pro-style QBs were concerned, Wood was a top ten prospect. According to Wood’s bio on the Colorado team website, he was the third best quarterback out of the state of Texas.
No surprise, the prep star out of Houston’s Second Baptist was garnering plenty of attention from top level programs around the nation. Programs such as Alabama, LSU, Florida State, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma were all interested in Wood’s services.
Like many prep all-stars from the Lone Star State Wood decided to hang his hat on the Longhorns. A full ride to UT is nothing to scoff at. But again, in Texas everything is bigger and Connor became a face in the crowd.
Wood found himself competing his freshman year with the likes of Garret Gilbert and Case McCoy. Unable to beat out either, he was relegated as a red-shirt so there was nary a wasted a year of eligibility. Seeing the writing on the wall with Gilbert, McCoy, and true freshman David Ash all bidding for the same position, Wood left for the Rocky Mountains.
CU was a great option for a heralded quarterback looking to start in a major conference such as the Pac-12. The Buffs’ Tyler Hansen had only one year to play quarterback before graduating, which was conveniently the one Wood had to sit out.
The wait was finally over. Wood had the majority of the snaps in the CU spring game after spending 2011 running the scout offense. Buffs head coach Jon Embree had the top shelf QB that wouldn’t otherwise be available two years past.
It would appear that the three time Texas All-State selection would have the position all to himself. Appearances can be deceiving. Webb was given the keys to the Buff-mobile, not Wood. Guiding KU to a 4-15 record in 19 starts, Webb had experience, albeit unsuccessful, it was experience.
A career that looked destined for greatness has become mired in obscurity. Most quarterbacks with the pedigree of Wood develop into household names for their respective fan base. Apparently, transferring to a three win program was not enough for the Houston product to finally achieve his goal of starting.
Will Webb prove to be a failed option giving Connor the opportunity he so desires? Will Webb excel pushing the former Longhorn further into ambiguity?
This is a story of a career going in reverse. This story is not yet over, but it is a curious case indeed.
James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America
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