Proud parents of the Colorado Buffaloes’ new starting quarterback landed Friday at Denver International Airport. Mike and Nanci Noyer wouldn’t miss the following night at Folsom Field for anything.
Their son, Sam, in his redshirt senior season, is finally getting his chance to lead the Buffs.
“We’re certainly excited,” Mike Noyer told The Denver Post. “It’s been a long journey.”
Sam Noyer’s football story, long before his expected starting QB debut Saturday against UCLA, began as a second-grader growing up in Beaverton, Ore. Noyer had outgrown most of his classmates, and with above-average size, he excelled immediately in a contact sport. Noyer played almost every position.
“Offensive line, linebacker, running back and quarterback,” Mike Noyer said. “It was always just natural for Sam. At a young age, he just got it. The kids always looked up to Sam because he was always kind of the best athlete on the team. Everyone sort of gravitated toward Sam, and he was more than willing to take that role, and be a leader for them.”
Noyer’s talent couldn’t be denied. Later on, as a sophomore at Beaverton High School, football coach Bob Boyer named Noyer his starting quarterback.
“There was a lot of pressure in that decision,” Boyer said.
But Noyer persevered, then excelled, and finished his decorated prep career with 7,235 yards passing and 69 touchdowns. One of Noyer’s greatest moments, Boyer said, was converting an overtime 2-point try to upset the fifth-ranked team in the state during the playoffs. Noyer rolled out of the pocket and threw complete in the end zone.
“He had the confidence to say: Put the ball in my hands and I’ll get the job done,” Boyer said. “That sums up who Sam is. I don’t think he fears any situation.”
Noyer’s seemingly meteoric football rise took a detour in Boulder.
After redshirting in 2016, he sat behind CU starting quarterback Steven Montez for two years. Then former coach Mel Tucker requested last season that he change positions to safety, and it was fair to wonder if his days under center were over. Noyer considered the transfer portal, but upon further reflection, chose to remain with the Buffs.
“He was fine doing whatever he could to get on the field,” Mike Noyer said. “That was his main thing: He wanted to play. … Being his dad, I was super proud of him not being selfish and just wanting to do something for the team.”
That uncommon loyalty paid off when new coach Karl Dorrell announced Noyer had won the starting quarterback job this fall over junior Tyler Lytle and highly touted freshman Brendon Lewis. Despite the long wait, Noyer’s family believes his confidence is riding high into Saturday’s opener against UCLA.
“He feels great about the team,” Mike Noyer said. “I always throw him tips from dad/coach. But I told him (Friday) morning: ‘No more tips, you’re on your own now.’ It’s up to him.”
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