For five years, Sam Noyer battled for the Colorado Buffaloes.
This year, he will compete against them.
On Friday, CU’s former starting quarterback announced that he is transferring to Oregon State. The Buffs are scheduled to host Oregon State on Nov. 6 at Folsom Field, fittingly for CU’s homecoming game.
On Monday, CU and Noyer announced his decision to put his name into the NCAA transfer portal, and it didn’t take long to find a new – and very familiar – home. The move to Oregon State is a natural one for Noyer, who was born in Portland and graduated from Beaverton (Ore.) High School.
During an interview on Portland’s 750 AM radio on Friday, Noyer said, “It’s kind of a match made in heaven, really.
“I’ve grown up here so I’ve known that Beaver Nation is awesome. I’m excited to be able to play in front of Beaver Nation next year.”
Noyer will be reunited with the man who recruited him to CU, Brian Lindgren. OSU’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the past three years, Lindgren held a similar position at CU from 2013-17. During his time at CU, Noyer had four quarterback coaches in five years, with Lindgren being the only coach he had for more than one season.
OSU head coach Jonathan Smith also recruited Noyer out of high school. At the time, Smith was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Washington.
“It’s funny how things just kind of come full circle with coach Smith and coach Lindgren and I’m ready to get after it,” Noyer said on Portland radio.
In his only season as CU’s starter in 2020, Noyer led to the Buffs (4-2, 3-1 Pac-12) to a 4-0 start and a trip to the Alamo Bowl. He was named second-team All-Pac-12 in a vote by coaches after completing 88-of-160 passes for 1,101 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions, while also rushing for 208 yards and five touchdowns.
The first CU quarterback since Mike Moschetti (1998) to win his first four career starts, Noyer was named Pac-12 offensive player of the week after a 35-32 win at Stanford in the second game. He’s also the only CU quarterback since Koy Detmer in 1996 to earn first or second-team all-conference honors.
During his career at CU, Noyer completed 109-of-201 passes for 1,280 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions.
“I’ve got to thank everybody who has been a part of my journey at Colorado,” he said. “My coaching staff, I developed a great relationship with them over the last year or so, and some of them even longer.”
Despite his success in 2020, Noyer played most of the season with an injured shoulder and went through offseason surgery. This spring, he missed all of CU’s 15 practices while rehabilitating his injury.
With Noyer sidelined, freshman Brendon Lewis and sophomore JT Shrout, a transfer from Tennessee, split reps with the first-team offense. Lewis and Shrout will go into preseason camp battling for the starting job with the Buffs. Noyer would have joined them in that competition had he stayed at CU.
“I just think that I wanted a new opportunity, a fresh start,” Noyer said. “I wanted to go into a place where I can bring my experience and bring some of my leadership to a new team and try to help them win in any way I can. I felt like that situation was best at Oregon State. I’m looking forward to it.
“There was no hard feelings (at CU). … They took a chance on me and they brought me back and had some success with it. I also didn’t finish the season the way I wanted it to. So, I have a bad taste in my mouth about that and you’re only as good as your last performance. I’ve got a lot to work on and hopefully go out on that high note at Oregon State.”
Noyer will join a crowded quarterback room at OSU, led by incumbent starter Tristan Gebbia. A former transfer from Nebraska, Gebbia completed 80-of-129 passes for 824 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions last season for the Beavers (2-5). Gebbia led OSU to a 2-2 record in four starts before a hamstring injury knocked him out of the last three games.
Also back for the Beavers is sophomore Chance Nolan, who started three games and completed just 50.5 percent of his passes (46-of-91) for 537 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Like Noyer, Gebbia missed most of spring while recovering from injury. Nolan and freshman Ben Gulbrandson got most of the reps in spring. The Beavers also have true freshman Sam Vidlak in the mix.
Noyer said his familiarity with Lindgren gives him a head start on preparing for this season and added that the OSU offense is “very similar to what I would have had at Colorado.”
“I have to go in and compete just like I would have at Colorado,” he said. “Nothing guaranteed and I’ve known that since the day I stepped on campus at Colorado when I was a freshman. Nothing’s ever given to you. You’ve always got to earn it, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”