Colorado’s offense is loaded with potential weapons for next season, and Brendon Lewis is doing what he can to be the guy getting the ball in their hands.
After a strong spring, the freshman quarterback said he’s eager to take his game up another notch this summer.
“I’m going to continue to work on my accuracy and I’m going to continue to get bigger, faster and stronger because I know that will benefit my game greatly,” Lewis said after the Buffs’ spring showcase on April 30. “Mainly my accuracy, footwork, lower body. I’m going to just keep in the offense every day so when we come back like I said, it’s time to work, it’s time to win some games.”
After graduating early from Melissa (Texas) High School and enrolling at CU in January of 2020, Lewis didn’t get the benefit of spring practices because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, the season got pushed back and shortened, leaving the Buffs with minimal time to get ready for the season.
Because he was behind the others, Lewis was never really in the competition to start, as senior Sam Noyer beat out junior Tyler Lytle. When Lytle decided after the regular-season finale to transfer, Lewis was elevated to No. 2 for the Alamo Bowl.
That proved to be significant for his development, as he made his collegiate debut in relief of Noyer during the 55-23 loss to Texas. Despite the lopsided score, Lewis played 38 snaps, threw for 95 yards, and ran for 73 and a touchdown. He led CU to all three touchdown drives.
Lewis rode that confidence into the spring. With Lytle competing at UMass and Noyer on the sidelines with an injury, Lewis split first-team reps with Tennessee transfer JT Shrout.
“In every position, you need confidence to play this game but especially the quarterback position because you handle the ball every single snap,” offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said during a CU-produced spring showcase preview last month. “He’s showing a lot more confidence this spring, even from last fall after getting that taste of having some success in the bowl game. I think you’ve seen him kind of take the next step, and it’s going to be a fun, fun thing to watch this fall camp.”
A big factor in Lewis’ confidence is his comfort with the playbook.
“It’s so much improved,” he said. “I can get through my progressions because I know what everybody on the field is doing. It just gives me the confidence in the pocket, just to sit back there and deliver the ball.”
During the spring showcase, Lewis displayed confidence in the pocket, such as threading the needle for a first down to Dimitri Stanley, hitting Keith Miller for another first down, and other throws as he went 8-for-9 for 62 yards.
“Brendon Lewis is dynamic,” Chiaverini said. “He’s got a really, really high ceiling.”
In the fall, Lewis will compete with Noyer, Shrout and freshman Drew Carter for the starting job. While Noyer is the incumbent starter, Lewis has put himself in a position to potentially win the job.
“B-Lew has done a great job of stepping up and really getting a lot more reps than he had in the fall, and I think that he has stepped up obviously as a player and then as a leader as well,” Noyer said.
“We want everyone in the room to get better, from me all the way down. I think that’s kind of happening this spring and I think guys are getting better and so it looks really good. B-Lew’s done a good job of stepping up into to that role and he’s progressed well and I know he’ll keep going in that.”