On the eve of the 2021 college football season opener for the Oregon State Beavers, all eyes are on former Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer.
Earlier in the week, head coach Jonathan Smith named the Beaverton alum as the starting QB for week 1, edging out last year's starter Tristan Gebbia and sophomore Chance Nolan.
“Throughout camp, I thought the whole quarterback room did a good job back and forth. It was very close,” coach Smith told the media on Tuesday. “I think just the overall feel, the body of work through camp then headed into a game plan, those things, we just felt like he has the best chance to let us score some points.”
Last year in Colorado, Noyer put up respectable numbers in a COVID shortened season. The 6'4" QB threw 55% of his passes (88-for-160) for 1,101 yards with six touchdowns and seven Interceptions.
"In the end we like Sam, his experience playing at this level and starting experience," offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said. "And then just his ability to consistently complete balls down the field with accuracy showed up again and again as we went back and watched clips through fall camp. Feel good about him and excited to watch him play.”
Noyer's body of work, experience and leadership has also impressed a local quarterback: former Washington State slinger and Eugene native Alex Brink.
"Sam Noyer is a young man that I have known for a long time. Since he was a junior in high school. We worked together," Brink said. "You are not only getting a special athlete and quarterback with Sam, but you are getting a special person. He is a guy that can step in, own a locker room. Be a leader. People that know him from Beaverton and the Portland area know that about him."
While attending high school in Beaverton, Brink, alongside Taylor Barton and Jordan Johnson, worked with Noyer to perfect his mechanics, read defenses and become a student of the game.
"There is just something special about Sam. I just think the Beavers are really getting somebody that can be the straw that can stir the drinks for them. Jonathan Smith and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren know that which is why they went with Sam out of the gate in week 1."
Noyer's first test will come on Saturday against Purdue. Brink thinks that with head coach Jonathan Smith's leadership and Noyer at the helm, big things could be on the horizon.
"Oregon State has come a long way under Jonathan Smith. The Beavers are poised to make some noise in the north and across the Pac-12."