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QB candidate watch: Colorado

Roughly half of all Pac-12 teams must replace their starting quarterback in 2016. We're checking on the status of each open competition. Here's the situation at Colorado, where Sefo Liufau, last year's starter, is still recovering from a foot injury. Liufau may be ready to go for the season, but there is no certainty as far as that goes, so there is plenty of competition for this job on the horizon.

Who's in the race? Liufau, committed graduate transfer Davis Webb (though this much is currently in question -- read below), Jordan Gehrke and Steven Montez

What does Liufau bring to the table? He's a three-year starter in Colorado's system, and that much alone gives Liufau a leg up over at least Gehrke and Montez -- provided that he's healthy and cleared from his Lisfranc injury by the time the season opener rolls around. Liufau is capable and athletic, but he does need to keep his interception count down. He did a good job of that last year, throwing only six picks in 10 games after logging 15 in 2014.

What does Webb bring to the table? He's currently committed to the Buffs, but the graduate transfer from Texas Tech -- who has thrown for 5,557 yards and 46 touchdowns in his career -- has also reportedly shown interest in California and Auburn this offseason. If Webb does end up at Colorado, he'd be the odds-on favorite to grab the starting job with his accurate arm and steady track record.

What does Gehrke bring to the table? He played in the Buffs' season finale against Utah, throwing for 113 yards after relieving Cade Apsay. Gehrke is a senior who has experience with the Buffs' playbook, so the staff can trust him to deliver a stable presence to the field.

What does Montez bring to the table? He's Colorado's quarterback of the future. Montez redshirted as a true freshman, but he impressed the Buffs with his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame, strong arm and notable athleticism. Colorado receivers reported that Montez put considerable zip on his passes. Assuming he continues to develop, Montez has a real chance to see action in 2016 -- especially if the Liufau and Webb situations don't resolve themselves in the Buffs' favor.

Is one of the QBs in the lead? It's impossible to update the race at this point because only two of the potential participants -- Gehrke and Montez -- participated in spring ball. We'll know more in August.

What are coaches saying? "I talk to Davis Webb basically every day," coach Mike MacIntyre recently told our Kevin Gemmell. "Almost every night. He's told me every time he's definitely coming to Colorado. I don't have any other reason to think why he wouldn't."

That's how MacIntyre has responded to strong rumors that Webb may transfer elsewhere -- namely Cal. As far as Liufau's status goes, Colorado coaches have yet to announce an official timetable for his return. MacIntyre has also expressed satisfaction with the progress Montez has shown in his year on campus so far.

What can we expect moving forward? We should firmly know Webb's future plans sometime soon. Liufau's status will likely remain murky until at least July, so don't expect Colorado to name a starting quarterback until fall camp.