Dunno. I'm looking at it because it would work for road and cross (so would most cross bikes, but there are certain things like deepish drop bars that would be good for the road that the K2 has stock). If off road is your priority I kight look at the Surly Cross Check in your budget. Heavy, not much of a racer, but good geometry for off road, as well as the ability to tae really wide tires if you're interested.
I placed my order for one today. I can barely aford it as is (digging into my savings) but it'll save wear on the other bike that I use for commuting. And honestly for 850 bucks it's a pretty good frame/component value. If I don't like it, REI has that wonderful return policy.
If you want the sale price, hurry though. It ends on the 14th.
And for recreational purposes you'll do well with Tiagra. Initially I was hoping to buy something 105 level, but financially that's not gonna hapen right now (yeah, the extra few hundred makes a big difference on a student budget). I plan on riding/racing the bike stock and upgrading to 105/ultegra as things wear out over the next couple years.