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CU Buffs notes: Kary Kutsch aims to end career on positive note

Kary Kutsch of the O-line during ...
Kary Kutsch of the O-line during the University of Colorado Football Spring Showcase on April 30, 2021.

Like many college athletes around the country, Kary Kutsch went into 2020 believing it was his last season.

It hardly went as planned, of course, but the Colorado offensive lineman jumped at the chance to return when the NCAA granted all student-athletes an extra year of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the biggest things (in the decision to return) was my senior season was kind of messed up,” Kutsch said after a recent practice. “I got two games at guard at either end of the season and played two at center. And then missed three weeks with COVID. So I didn’t really even get a senior season last year. So that was a big factor.”

Kutsch now steps into a leadership role for the Buffs as one of their most experienced players. A transfer from Butte (Calif.) College in 2018, Kutsch has started 16 of the Buffs’ last 18 games, with 14 of those starts at left guard. Only three players on the current roster have played in more games at CU than Kutsch’s 28.

“It’s kind of on me to be the older guy, the veteran,” he said. “I’m a fan of it. I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job, I hope. I feel like I’m leading the O-line pretty well.”

Kutsch and center Colby Pursell, a fifth-year junior, are the anchors of a line that has good potential when healthy.

“He’s just so smart, you listen to Colby on any call he makes,” Kutsch said. “I’m hopefully playing well enough to earn the respect of others.”

Perhaps the best part of Kutsch’s offseason is that he’s been able to focus on a familiar spot. While he has practiced a bit at center, just in case he’s needed there again, Kutsch has primarily played at left guard.

Offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue said the Buffs are deeper at center than they were last year and doesn’t anticipate needing Kutsch in that role.

“Kary is going to stay right where he’s at,” Rodrigue said. “He’s got a good home, and he’s doing good and I feel like we’ve got a lot of depth at center this year. … In an emergency situation, he could definitely play (center).”

Kutsch does feel better about playing center than he did last year, but is happy to be focusing on left guard and added, “I made an even bigger jump this year.

“I think it’s helped me with the whole leadership role, too, because I’m so confident in my role right now.”

Injuries have forced CU to rotate several players at left tackle. Frank Fillip was there in the spring but is currently out with a shoulder injury. This month, Max Wray, Jake Wiley, Chance Lytle and Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan have all lined up there next to Kutsch.

Wiley is listed atop the depth chart at left tackle this week, with Wray behind him. (Lytle is slated to start at right tackle.).

“I feel like if I can stay in that position, I can be the rock on the left side and help those younger tackles,” he said.

In a familiar spot and taking on a leadership role, Kutsch is enjoying his final year at CU. And, it helps that he’s already got his bachelor’s degree.

“I think this year has been probably the most enjoyable year,” he said. “I’m just so comfortable in where I am at left guard right now. Football is huge right now and I’m graduated now, so I’m working on my masters. Everything’s just going (well) right now.”

Noyer named OSU starter

Former CU quarterback Sam Noyer was named the starter at Oregon State on Monday and will lead the Beavers into their opener Saturday at Purdue.

Noyer, who started all six games for the Buffs in 2020 and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors, transferred to Oregon State over the summer.

OSU’s 2020 starter, Tristan Gebbia, has a hamstring injury. That left Noyer competing with redshirt sophomore Chance Nolan, who started three games in 2020 after Gebbia was injured.

Noyer and the Beavers are scheduled to visit Folsom Field on Nov. 6.

Gameday info

CU announced Monday that a COVID-19 vaccine will not be required to attend Friday’s game, but fans are “strongly encouraged to be vaccinated when they come to campus.”

Masks are required to be worn in any indoor space at Folsom Field, and fans are “strongly encouraged” to wear a mask at their seat.


CU’s latest depth chart shows a 4-3 base defense, with Jalen Sami and Na’im Rodman as first-team defensive tackles; Terrance Lang and Carson Wells at end; and Nate Landman, Marvin Ham II and Quinn Perry at the three inside linebackers. … As of Monday afternoon, CU has sold about 35,000 tickets for Friday’s game, with more than 9,200 of those being student passes. … CU has sold a little more than 51,000 tickets for the Sept. 11 game against Texas A&M in Denver.

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