Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer
Throughout his career at Colorado, quarterback Sam Noyer has done his best to improve his craft while knowing opportunities to play might be rare.
As he prepares for his fourth season with the Buffaloes, Noyer continues progressing, while battling for an opportunity.
“I really just want to focus on how can I get better and how can I make the team get better?” he said after a recent spring practice. “Competition comes within that. We’re all competing for, ultimately, that No. 1 job and pushing (Steven) Montez every single day. We’re just going to keep grinding and pushing each other.”
Montez, a senior next season, is the likely starter again. He’s started every game the past two years and has been off to a good start this spring, impressing new head coach Mel Tucker and offensive coordinator Jay Johnson.
Noyer, meanwhile, continues competing not only with Montez, but with sophomore Tyler Lytle and redshirt freshman Blake Stenstrom, who has been limited this spring with a foot injury.
A native of Portland, Ore., Noyer came to CU after starring at Beaverton High School. He’s played behind Sefo Liufau and Montez, while learning from three different quarterback coaches — Brian Lindgren, Kurt Roper and Johnson — during his time in Boulder.
When given an opportunity to play, Noyer has had mixed results. He has come off the bench, often in difficult circumstances, and has completed 21-of-41 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions in his career. He has led the Buffs on three scoring drives, however.
“There are some ups and downs the times I’ve been in, but I’ve learned from everything,” the 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior said. “That’s one thing I pride myself on is just learning from the mistakes I’ve made and the successes I’ve had.”
Although his game time has been limited, Noyer believes those experiences have been beneficial as he prepares for the next time he hits the field.
“I definitely feel like things are slowing down a little bit and I’m starting to get more comfortable with identifying fronts or seeing safety rotations, pointing out who is coming (on a blitz),” he said. “Small details have definitely become a lot easier.”
Like Montez and Lytle, Noyer said he’s grateful for his time with Lindgren (in 2016-17) and Roper (2018), but is also enjoying the new lessons being taught by Johnson.
“He’s really good,” Noyer said. “Strictly business with coach Johnson. We’ve been meeting a lot. From the jump, as you walk in that meeting, it’s all business. He’s a business man and he knows what he wants and I think that’s going to help us, definitely, this upcoming season.”
This spring, Noyer is combining his game experience and the education he’s received at CU to put himself in a better position to help the Buffs when his number is called again.
“I’m just trying to learn as much as I can,” he said. “I’ve always felt like I’ve done a good job of preparing myself, but this offseason I’ve really just been trying to learn defenses, learn the terms that coach Johnson is bringing to us and also just learn our offense. I’m just trying to learn that and be as prepared as I can going into this spring and this upcoming season.”