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In Karl Dorrell’s last meeting with the media, they asked him specifically about the quarterback position. With that, Dorrell constantly mentioned up three names: Brendon Lewis, Tyler Lytle, and Sam Noyer. Each of these men has had a different background entering this offseason. With that, their diverse experience should provide for an exciting competition when the summer rolls around.
Here is a dive into who these quarterbacks are:
Perhaps one of the most anticipated quarterbacks to come to CU in years is Brendon Lewis.
The true freshman is a three-star prospect out of Melissa, Texas. At 6-3, 209, Lewis has a solid build to go with great athleticism. He has an unofficial 4.56 40-yard dash to pair with a 395 pound squat. Lewis brings a dual-threat ability to the position, but doesn’t shortchange reading the field for running. Instead, Lewis uses his escapability to extend plays and find downfield throws. His throw-on-the-run is just a bonus. Lewis also has great touch on throws, making excellent attempts on fade routes as well as routes up the seam. His build, combined with his touch, displays a young quarterback ready to compete.
One area for Lewis to improve is simply consistency. While he has a natural delivery, it be tightened up to quicken his release. At the same time, he can also benefit from additional practice with footwork. Still, for a true freshman, Lewis looks to have the ability to enter and contribute immediately for the Buffaloes.
Tyler Lytle is the room’s most experienced man under center.
Another three-star prospect, this time from Anaheim, California, Lytle has been enrolled at CU since the Spring of 2017. He brings a different dynamic to the team as a pro-style quarterback, standing at 6-5, 220. Although he graduated earlier in May, Lytle still has two years of eligibility remaining. He redshirted in 2017 and has only played in seven games between 2018 and 2019. With that, he is just 4-6 passing for 55 yards and an interception.
Lytle has a tight delivery on throws and stands tall in the pocket. His size allows him to not only look over the offensive line but also drive balls into tighter windows. He has earned the trust of coaches in the past, dressing for each game in which he was healthy during the last two seasons. While his live-game experience in college is limited, the time in the locker room and on the practice field greatly benefits him. His experience is his biggest attribute at this point in the process, as the lack of practice due to COVID-19 may force head coach Karl Dorrell to give Lytle the starting nod. It will be up to Tyler to perform.
Sam Noyer has the most interesting journey of this quarterback competition.
Noyer has been enrolled at CU since 2016, entering as a three-star prospect from Beaverton, Oregon. Although he has been on the team for several seasons, not all of them have been at quarterback. He redshirted in 2016 and played as Steven Montez’s backup in 2017 and 2018. His career passing numbers from these two years are 21-41 for 179 yards and 2 interceptions. With Tyler Lytle and Blake Stenstrom making strides last offseason, Noyer made the switch to safety in 2019. He saw action in 11 games, but only for 24 total defensive snaps and without any statistics. While he did not play on offense last season, Noyer had impressive numbers in the spring scrimmages. At 6-4, 220, he has the size and athleticism. Classified out of high school as a dual-threat quarterback, Noyer shares some traits with Brendon Lewis.
Noyer was entertaining transfer options as a graduate this offseason, but was convinced by Karl Dorrell to stay and compete at quarterback. It seems Noyer will get a fair shake at the starting nod, and it will be interesting to see who will come out: the inconsistent thrower of the past, or a confident veteran of the present.
Predictions Heading Into the Summer
Truthfully, this quarterback competition could not be any more wide open. Each passer brings something different to the table, so who ends up with the starting nod will depend on a variety of factors. First of all is scheme fit. While Lytle brings a pro-style approach, Lewis and Noyer can utilize their athleticism to extend plays. None three is unique in their style or in size, which is part of the close competition.
Perhaps the most important factor will be what Karl Dorrell thinks of the team. If his confidence in the defense and running game is high enough to entertain a postseason appearance, he may favor Lytle or Noyer for their experience on the field. If he believes in a rebuilding year, perhaps Lewis would be given the reigns to aid in his development.
While it is difficult to project any front-runner at this point in the process, one thing is for certain: the battle for Colorado’s QB1 will be intense.