Having the season postponed is tough enough to accept. Sitting out while watching others try to play is even more difficult.
“It’s obviously tough,” Colorado senior quarterback Sam Noyer said during a virtual press conference Thursday. “When you see the SEC and other conferences out there in full pads doing everything that we can’t do right now, it definitely leaves a sour taste in your mouth, but at the same time, we can only control we can control and that’s not in our control.
“It’s definitely tough not being out there with our guys, because we’d be in the middle of fall camp right now.”
CU and the rest of the Pac-12, along with the Big Ten, Mountain West and MAC have all decided to postpone the fall sports season until at least next spring because of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and three smaller conferences (AAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt) are pushing on, despite some challenges in the early going of their preseason camps.
“It’s definitely been tough,” said CU junior quarterback Tyler Lytle. “This is going to be my first fall with no football I think since I was six years old. So it is tough.”
With three-year starter Steven Montez graduating, Lytle, Noyer and true freshman Brendon Lewis were hoping to spend this summer competing for the starting job. That competition is now on hold until January or later.
“I had to wait for my turn to be able to compete,” Lytle said. “I’m still here and going to be here next year and I just have to be patient and see what they decide for what football is going to look like over the next year, whether it’s in winter, spring, fall. I just have to keep being patient, and that’s all I can do at this point.”
Noyer, who entered the transfer portal last winter before deciding to stay at CU, said this whole year has been an emotional ride after the Buffs had spring practices canceled in March and spent most of the spring and summer preparing remotely.
“It’s definitely been an emotional roller coaster, especially in this last couple of months,” Noyer said. “But, everybody’s going through it right now, so you can’t really look at it that way. All you can do is just keep working and keep your head down. At this point there’s really nothing else you can do. Our whole team is going through it. Every team around the country is going through it.”
Noyer, entering his fifth season in the program, and Lytle, entering his fourth, have emerged as leaders this offseason. They will aim to try to keep the team motivated during an uncertain fall.
“As hard as it is, it has to be business as usual as (much as) possible,” Lytle said. “Back to workouts, back to throwing on the weekends and during our free time. Everything we’re doing this offseason to get better, you just have to keep on going, keep on chugging.
“Without a season, it can get tedious, but you just have to have that goal at the end of the day that I am still working towards something. It’s not gone; it’s just away for a little while. But, as soon as it comes back, I want to be as ready as possible and I think it’s definitely our jobs as all the members of the team, and quarterbacks, to make sure the team is on the same page, as well.”
Dorrell told Buffzone this week that Lytle, Noyer and senior linebacker Nate Landman are among those who have stepped up as leaders. But, they are three of many.
“There’s been a number of guys that have been real positive about the work ethic and what’s in front of them and trying to be encouraging to other members on our team,” Dorrell said. “We haven’t pinpointed directly who those leaders are yet. We’re going to work on that. That’s part of the process this fall with our leadership and training workshops that we’re going to do, but it’s good to see that there’s some encouragement, guys that are wanting to do things the right way.”
Dorrell said the staff probably won’t name captains this fall, but could have a leadership council.
“It won’t necessarily be three or four guys, but it’ll be maybe 15 to 20 guys that we’ll have on this council that is a cross section of our team that through discussion will arrive to some really good solutions for our team,” he said. “I think that’s the process we’re going to go through right now. We’ll see if captains can emerge once we get through those steps.”