CU Buffs receiver K.D. Nixon not worried amid QB battle in Boulder – The Denver Post
Quarterback transitions are difficult under any circumstances.
The change is even more complicated when the signal caller the team is trying to replace was a three-year starter (Steven Montez) who also happens to be the school’s all-time touchdown leader.
Add in a new head coach and global pandemic, and difficult transforms into absurd for the Colorado football team.
The leading candidates to replace Montez include senior Sam Noyer, junior Tyler Lytle and freshman Brendon Lewis.
Not a single college start between them.
Despite all that inexperience, senior wide receiver K.D. Nixon isn’t worried.
“We’re steadily growing,” Nixon said. “There are some days where we might have a bad day, but we not gonna call it a bad day because it’s a working day, we’re progressing so we’re getting better by the day every day.
Out of the three potential starters under center, Noyer technically has the most experience. It just hasn’t all been at quarterback.
The senior played in 10 games in 2019, mostly on special teams and a few times at safety. He originally planned to finish his degree and become a graduate transfer, but he opted to return to Boulder and take one last crack at becoming CU’s starting quarterback. His most prolific season to date: 2017, when he threw for 119 yards on 27 attempts.
“He looks like he never lost it,” Nixon said.
Noyer changed positions last year in part because of Lytle, who spent the past season as the primary backup. The junior missed three games due to injury, and only attempted one pass, but Nixon believes Lytle’s intelligence and ability make him a potential replacement for Montez.
“Everybody who’s being recruited around the world was the best at their high school,” Nixon said. “So we all have the ability to be the best ever. Tyler has the ability to start, but it’s all about mindset.”
Lewis is the biggest wild card of the three. A consensus three-star dual-threat quarterback, according to 247Sports composite rankings, he’s impressed Nixon since arriving on campus as an early enrollee.
“He’s catching on so fast, it’s so beautiful,” said Nixon, who has 89 career receptions for 1,118 yards and seven touchdowns. “I’ve never had this chance to learn from a quarterback or teach a quarterback.”
While Nixon is excited to find out who will start for the Buffs under center, he is also trying to make the transition as easy as he can, for both the quarterbacks and the other wideouts. His experience will be helpful, especially since he had more passing yards last season than Lytle and Noyer combined.
“I was able to see Montez, you know Sefo (Liufau), I was able to see all the college greats in the Pac-12 and around the world,” Nixon said. “Just being able to be in practice and see those guys compete, you notice those guys have the toughest job, so why not try to help?”
Landman on team buy-in with COVID. With the season hanging in the balance due to the global pandemic, football teams across the nation are seeing outbreaks of COVID-19. So far, Colorado hasn’t been one of them.
“I think players know that we’ve worked too hard and they have a goal of wanting to play this season,” senior Nate Landman said.
The linebacker said the team has bought into the safety protocols put in place by the athletics department and head coach Karl Dorrell. Close monitoring of people entering facilities and frequent sanitization are just a few reasons why Landman thinks CU athletics has been fairly unaffected compared to teams like LSU, who had an outbreak in early June, and neighboring CSU, which had one this month.
Landman also credits the speed at which CU players returned upon the announcement of voluntary workouts.
“They don’t want to put that in jeopardy by going out or doing unnecessary things,” he said.
Though Landman is happy with how the team has handled the adversity, he was particularly happy with the work exhibited by the incoming freshmen, who not only adjusted to the changes quickly, but are also taking advantage of the workouts.
“Sometimes that’s a struggle with freshmen coming in, but they’ve been pretty impressive so far,” he said.
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