Daily Camera (Boulder)

QUAR­TER­BACK

- Sports · College Sports · American Football · Utah · Tucker

some­thing I haven’t done be­fore in my ca­reer, but it is what it is given our cir­cum­stances.”

COVID-19 caused a can­cel­la­tion of CU’S spring prac­tices just a few days be­fore they were set to be­gin in March. The Buffs also spent the first half of the sum­mer work­ing out re­motely. In July and Au­gust, CU was able to re­turn for vol­un­tary work­outs and con­duct walk­throughs, but Dor­rell has yet to go through an ac­tual prac­tice with his team.

If all goes well, they will get 25 prac­tices in be­fore the opener.

“We’re go­ing to make the best as­sess­ment we can, given these 25 prac­tices and that’s the best we can do,” Dor­rell said. “I be­lieve we’ll get some­one out there that can man­age our team and man­age our of­fense and do some good things and prob­a­bly get bet­ter as the sea­son pro­gresses.”

While there isn’t much game ex­pe­ri­ence among the quar­ter­backs — 47 ca­reer passes be­tween them — there is a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence among the coaches.

To­gether, Dor­rell, Langs­dorf and of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dar­rin Chi­averini have sev­eral decades of ex­pe­ri­ence with coach­ing of­fense in gen­eral and, in the case of Dor­rell and Langs­dorf, quar­ter­backs specif­i­cally.

“I feel like I have re­ally good coaches, par­tic­u­larly our quar­ter­back coach, Danny Langs­dorf,” Dor­rell said. “He’s a vet­eran coach, he’s coached a num­ber of play­ers and some of them are play­ing in the (NFL).”

The chal­lenge for Dor­rell and his staff, he said, is to take all that knowl­edge among the coaches and tai­lor it to the quar­ter­backs.

“What­ever we de­cide idea-wise what to do, it has to fit the skill set of our quar­ter­back and the peo­ple that we op­er­ate with,” Dor­rell said. “So it’s not re­ally how much we know; it’s re­ally what they can do and do it at a high level.

“We’ve been re­ally guarded about not putting in too much, just be­cause we haven’t had a lot of field time. As soon as we get some­one es­tab­lished and start­ing and play­ing, we can con­tinue to add more to that play­ers’ plate, as long as he can di­gest it and as long as it fits what he does best. That’s how we’ll treat these next 25 prac­tices is re­ally try to cut it down to the things that are im­por­tant for that player to feel con­fi­dent that he can be suc­cess­ful.”

Noyer has the most ex­pe­ri­ence, go­ing 21-for-41 for 179 yards and two in­ter­cep­tions in his ca­reer, but he hasn’t played quar­ter­back in a game since 2018. Pre­vi­ous head coach Mel Tucker moved him to safety last sea­son and then Noyer planned to trans­fer this past off­sea­son be­fore de­cid­ing to come back and play quar­ter­back.

Ly­tle en­ters his fourth year at CU. He went 4-for-5 for 55 yards and an in­ter­cep­tion on a snowy day against Utah in 2018 and was in­jured on his only pass of the 2019 sea­son.

“Those two guys are kind of the pri­mary guys to see how that’s go­ing to turn out with the reps and the com­pe­ti­tion that we go through camp,” Dor­rell told the Pac12 Net­work.

Lewis is some­what of a dark­horse, Dor­rell said. While Lewis has al­ready set team records in the weight room, Dor­rell said, “He’s got a lit­tle bit fur­ther to go be­cause it’s so new to him com­pared to the other two that have been in the pro­gram.”

Lewis will have a shot at the start­ing job, how­ever.

“I’ve been very, very im­pressed with him,” Dor­rell said. “He’s an ex­tremely tal­ented kid, a tremen­dous ath­lete. He has a re­ally good arm. His chal­lenge, like most peo­ple in your first year, is pick­ing up the scheme, be­ing able to per­form in a timely man­ner and un­der­stand it to nav­i­gate it and own it. That’s al­ways a chal­lenge for a fresh­man to do.”

With a limited win­dow of time to pre­pare, there’s also a pos­si­bil­ity CU takes the com­pe­ti­tion into the sea­son. But, Dor­rell goes into camp feel­ing good about the Buffs’ abil­ity to find a qual­ity starter.

“All three are very tal­ented play­ers,” he said. “They lack some ex­pe­ri­ence, ob­vi­ously, but we think be­tween the three we’re go­ing to be able to find a solid player that can man­age the of­fense and hope­fully grow and get bet­ter week af­ter week when we play.”

 ?? Cliff Grass­mick / Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher ?? Colorado QB Sam Noyer moved back to of­fense af­ter play­ing some safety last sea­son.
Cliff Grass­mick / Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher Colorado QB Sam Noyer moved back to of­fense af­ter play­ing some safety last sea­son.

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