CU Buffs’ Sam Noyer makes hometown proud

Former coach happy to see Colorado fifth-year senior get opportunity to start

Colorado senior Sam Noyer has been named the starting quarterback for the Buffaloes. His last start came at Beaverton (Ore.) High School in 2015.
CU Athletics
Colorado senior Sam Noyer has been named the starting quarterback for the Buffaloes. His last start came at Beaverton (Ore.) High School in 2015.

Bob Boyer has already lined up his plans for this Saturday night.

“I’ve already got nachos planned, and wings,” the Beaverton (Ore.) High School head football coach said. “I’m going to sit my butt down on our couch and nobody’s going to talk to me.”

Boyer will be tuned into ESPN2 and doesn’t want to be interrupted when the Colorado Buffaloes open their season against UCLA at Folsom Field.

The long-time Beaverton coach has been waiting a long time to see his former quarterback, Sam Noyer, take the reins of the CU offense. Now a fifth-year senior, Noyer was named CU’s starting quarterback on Friday. The UCLA game will mark his first start since his senior year with Boyer’s Beavers in 2015.

“I am so happy and so excited that he’s getting an opportunity,” said Boyer, who has coached at Beaverton for 32 years. “It hasn’t been the easiest road for him. He’s put the time in, he’s worked, he stayed with it and I know it hasn’t been easy. To get the opportunity that he’s worked for, I’m just thrilled for him.”

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Sam Noyer got a few opportunities to come off the bench and play for the Colorado Buffaloes.

A three-year starter at Beaverton, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Noyer threw for 7,235 yards and 69 touchdowns in his prep career and signed a national letter of intent with the Buffs.

After redshirting in 2016, Noyer spent the next two seasons as a backup to Steven Montez. Given a few opportunities in mop-up duty, Noyer completed 21 of 41 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions.

Last season, Buffs head coach Mel Tucker asked Noyer to move to safety and he spent the entire season as a backup, seeing the field for just 24 snaps.

After the 2019 season, Noyer, who has already earned his bachelor’s degree, decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal and play his final season elsewhere.

Tucker suddenly bolted CU for the head coaching job at Michigan State in February, and the Buffs replaced him with Karl Dorrell. Soon after, Noyer got a call from Buffs offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini and new quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf – who recruited him out of high school.

“When I got that call, when (Chiaverini) wanted me to come back here, he told me the offense we were going to run and I feel like it did suit me really well,” Noyer said.

DENVER, CO - Aug. 30, 2019: ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Sam Noyer, right, celebrates with Mikael Onu during Colorado’s season opener against Colorado State in 2019. Noyer played as a backup safety during the 2019 season.

Boyer understands why Noyer initially wanted to transfer, but was pleased to see him remain at CU.

“I was really proud that he did stay there, tough it out and then, on top of that, something good happens,” Boyer said. “I think most kids would have seen (the quarterback situation in 2017 and 2018) and jumped ship and tried to go someplace else and he just stayed with it. Those are the things that when they get out of college and they get all done with sports – sports end for all of us at some point – that are going to make him successful later on,  the ability to fight through those tough times, and to come out on top.”

Boyer has known Noyer since he was a second grader. Noyer played sports with Boyer’s son and is a friend of Boyer’s daughter. Growing up, Noyer often played offensive line, but only because he was over the weight limit for the local youth leagues to play quarterback.

“Everybody knew he was a quarterback,” Boyer said. “We do our high school little guy camps and he was always a quarterback and you knew that’s what he was going to be.”

Boyer remembers Noyer having good mechanics even as a youth, but that wasn’t all that impressed him.

“Just his persona of who he was, you knew this was going to be the leader of your team and he can do it,” Boyer said. “In your quarterback, you want a leader. You want a guy that can endear himself to the rest of the team. You want a guy that’s got maybe a little bit of a chip on his shoulder; that believes maybe he’s a little bit better than he actually is. Sam had all of that.

“His linemen loved playing for him. Anytime a throw wasn’t caught, it was his fault; not the receivers’ fault. And, I don’t think we ever played a game that he thought we weren’t good enough to win, or that we weren’t going to win. He just kind of had that bravado about him.”

Although he hasn’t been a starter in nearly five years, Noyer still has those qualities. He’s popular among his teammates at CU and earned some respect for his acceptance of the move to safety a year ago.

Publicly, Noyer has never expressed negativity about his move to safety. In fact, he has often said that move has helped him in his return to quarterback.

CU Athletics
After entering the transfer portal last winter, Sam Noyer decided to return to Colorado and compete for the starting quarterback job.

“I was grinding and just really trying to understand the schemes and learn the ins and outs and the details of the defensive scheme,” Noyer said. “When I brought that back to the offensive side, now it’s kind of slowing things down for me. I really feel comfortable back there (at quarterback) and I can identify different things. It’s helped me a lot.”

Boyer isn’t surprised by how Noyer has approached every step of his career. In football, basketball and baseball, Boyer said, “You could see it even then that, ‘Okay this kid’s gonna be something special. Just a great teammate, and a guy that everybody watched and said, ‘If he’s on the field, we’re gonna win.”

CU certainly hopes that is the case this year, but regardless of Noyer’s success with the Buffs, he’s already a role model in the Beaverton community.

During his 32 years at Beaverton, Boyer has sent several quarterbacks to college, including Kevin Riley, who started at California from 2007-10. Boyer will use Noyer’s perseverance as a model for his current and future players.

“It’s huge,” Boyer said of Noyer’s opportunity. “It’s something that our kids need to be able to see because, even our kids that aren’t going to go on and play college football – which is the vast majority of our guys – they can see that, ‘If I work, if I put the time in, good things can happen.’ Hopefully they get that out of it.”

Boyer doesn’t know how well Noyer will play, and he joked that if things don’t go well Saturday against UCLA, he’ll change the channel, but he couldn’t be more proud for Noyer’s opportunity and the example it sets for others in Beaverton.

“He’s a really good kid,” Boyer said. “He’s just a really good role model. I’m just so happy he’s getting a good opportunity now.

“Now, get out there and get the job done.”