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CU Buffs add QB, but still short on depth

Recruit Drew Carter is one of three projected scholarship QBs for 2021 season

Drew Carter

Colorado added a talented quarterback to its 2021 roster on Wednesday.

It’s possible the Buffaloes aren’t done adding to that room.

Drew Carter, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound dual threat quarterback from Tigard (Ore.) High School signed a national letter of intent with the Buffs and he plans to enroll at CU in January.

With junior Tyler Lytle entering the transfer portal last weekend, however, Carter is just the third projected scholarship quarterback for next year – as long as everyone returns. Starter Sam Noyer is a senior, but could return because the NCAA has granted everyone an extra year of eligibility. The Buffs also have true freshman Brendon Lewis.

“We don’t have a lot of kids on scholarship with Tyler leaving,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “We have three, in terms of scholarship quarterbacks right now. Most programs have four to five, so we’re still short a guy there.”

CU could look for some veteran help through the transfer portal, sign a junior college player or recruit a second prep quarterback.

“We’re going to continue to evaluate everything,” Dorrell said.

Noyer won the starting job this season and could come back for a final season.

“We’re hoping Sam’s back next year, so he should be a year better,” Dorrell said.

In addition to the scholarship quarterbacks, the Buffs currently have three walk-ons: senior Dylan Jacob, redshirt freshman Grant Ciccarone and true freshman Michael Chandler II.

Durango High School quarterback Jordan Woolverton will join the mix, too, as a preferred walk-on. Woolverton led Durango (8-0) to the Class 3A state title two weeks ago, throwing for 1,010 yards and 12 touchdowns, with only two interceptions, while adding 409 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

JC philosophy

Former CU head coaches Mike MacIntyre and Mel Tucker found success with bringing junior college recruits to Boulder. From 2014-20, CU signed 33 JUCO players, with at least three each year.

On Wednesday, the Buffs signed just one – safety Trustin Oliver of Iowa Western Community College. Oliver originally signed with CU out of high school, but went to IWCC to get academics in order.

“I am more of a high school recruiting philosophy than junior college,” Dorrell said. “Not that I wouldn’t take one every now and then, but I feel the frustration in my experience with junior college players is by the time you get them entrenched in your system, they’re a senior and they’re out. I’d rather get the guys played and get them entrenched and by their sophomore years are pretty entrenched in our system and then they have two years of eligibility to be really, really good.

“I think that’s the problem with junior college is that they’re a quick fix when you need it, but then it does hurt you from a four-year plan. I don’t want to be too heavily into the junior college world. I want to do that only if we had to and only if we needed that type of experience in our program.”


When Dorrell was growing up, and even in his earlier years of coaching, it was quite common for high school players to compete on offense and defense. While many players still do that today, it’s not as common.

CU’s class includes several two-way players, though, including cornerbacks Kaylin Moore (Westlake Village, Calif.) and Tyrin Taylor (Huntersville, N.C.), who both also starred as receivers.

“I love versatility,” Dorrell said. “Both those guys are dynamic players. They play on both sides of the ball, and that’s actually one of those recruiting things that I like that you don’t see as often.”


Dorrell said junior tight end Brady Russell, who was injured Nov. 14 at Stanford, could return for CU’s bowl game. Russell had a procedure on a lower leg injury and has missed the last three games. … Asked if any players have opted out for the remainder of the season, Dorrell said, “We have some guys that are injured and can’t play for the rest of the season. They’re around, but they’re not going to play.” … CU’s recruiting class includes players from every position group, except running back. … The class also features players from 11 different states, led by three each from Colorado, California and Texas.

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