Going into preseason camp, one of the key battles for the Colorado football team was at backup quarterback.
Senior Steven Montez has the starting job locked up for the third year in a row, but the Buffaloes are still trying to figure out who will land at No. 2.
Apparently, it will not be Sam Noyer.
A CU spokesman confirmed to Buffzone.com on Monday afternoon that Noyer has switched to safety. The Denver Post first reported the move.
Noyer, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior from Beaverton, Ore., practiced on defense for the first time on Monday. His size and athleticism could be a boost for the Buffs at safety.
Now in his fourth season at CU, Noyer redshirted in 2016 and has appeared in nine games during his career, completing 21-of-41 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions.
Last season and throughout this offseason, Noyer has competed with redshirt sophomore Tyler Lytle for the top backup position. Noyer’s move to safety means that Lytle and redshirt freshman Blake Stenstrom are the only two scholarship quarterbacks behind Montez.
Lytle went 4-for-5 for 55 yards and an interception last season, while Stenstrom has not appeared in a game.
Head coach Mel Tucker wasn’t pleased with how the Buffs started their practice on Monday morning. So, he stopped practice a couple periods in, called the team together, brought some player leaders to the front of the group and had a little message for the team. Then, they restarted.
“I told them we’re not going to be able to start games over,” he said. “We have to be ready to go every time, ready to go to work and execute.”
It was the first time during preseason camp that Tucker’s had to do that.
“I anticipated it would happen earlier but it didn’t,” he said. “This is a human performance business. Things don’t always go like you want them to go. You have to learn from it and move on and that’s what we did today.
“They picked it up and got it going. We ended up getting out of the day what we needed to get out of it.”
Tucker brought team leaders up with him because, he said, he’s counting on those players to step up when adversity hits during practice or a game.
“It’s up to those guys, along with the coaching staff, to lead,” Tucker said. “If you’re not a leader, then you need to follow and get in line.”
Depth chart still being formed
With the season opener against Colorado State, on Aug. 30, still more than a week away, Tucker said the depth chart is still a work in progress.
“We’ve got a pretty good idea of who our ones are and who our backups are, but again, this was another work day and nothing is set in stone,” Tucker said. “It’s going to be based on performance who gets the playing time and who doesn’t. It’s going to be based on production and it’s going to be fluid. It’s going to be a compete-every-day situation and earn your playing time. You’ll get the playing time you deserve to get by the way you work and the way you prepare and the way you compete every day and get better.”
Asked if players are getting antsy for a game, Tucker said, “We shouldn’t be. I told them, this is camp. We’re not focused on CSU right now. We’re focused on us and getting better.” … Tucker said sophomore tight end Brady Russell is, “a program guy. He’s the type of guy you can point to and say, ‘Hey, you want to know how to work? Look at that guy; he works.’”