Of course, that spot was more or less secured by Cullen Harper back in the spring when he displayed the consistency and accuracy required out of a starter.
And while true freshman Willy Korn has done well in practices and scrimmages, Harper has displayed the type of leadership and qualities that head coach Tommy Bowden and offensive coordinator Rob Spence so desperately sought last season out of the position but never found.
"(Harper's) first-team and I'm hoping I'll continue to do what I do and start all my first-teamers," Bowden said. "He's a first-teamer, so I'd say he's probably going to (start). I've always started the 11 first-teamers."
When asked if he made a recruiting promise to Korn that he'd get the first snap of the season, Bowden was quick to say no.
"Only recruiting promise was to get first snap in the spring," Bowden said.
As the days wind down to that nationally televised contest against No. 19 FSU, Harper knows he'll get a little more anxious and excited as it approaches.
"I'll probably have some butterflies before the game, but it's going to be exciting and this is what I've been looking forward to," he said. "I feel very good right now. I think we're running the ball well and I think we're throwing the ball very well, so I think we've got a good balance. I'm real confident where we are right now."
It's still very uncertain as to whether Korn will even see the playing field against Florida State. Bowden said he hasn't even thought about it.
"I'm not going to play him just to play him," Bowden said. "I'm going to play the guys that give us the best chance to win the game. That's who I'm going to play."
However, Bowden isn't taking any chances. He wants to make sure Korn is ready to play if need be. That's why he had Harper pull a fast one on the freshman.
"I had to fake a little injury today to see what would happen if I went down," Harper said. "So I faked an ankle injury and I hobbled off with the trainers and laid there for a few reps and it was pretty good. I came back to the sidelines and everybody was asking me if I was alright."
Korn thought he had hurt his foot and was genuinely concerned about Harper's health, but he also stepped in his place on a moment's notice and performed well.
QUICK HITS: Despite the return from an injury of Ricky Sapp to bandit, position coach Ron West said neither Sapp nor Kevin Alexander is the clear starter.
"They're blocked (as co-starters)," West said. "I might make the decision three minutes before kickoff (against Florida State). I like it that way. They're both humming and I've got them right where I want them." …
Tailback Ray Ray McElrathbey was around the locker room today and he appeared to be in good spirits despite sustaining a season-ending knee injury last week.
"The first day, I went over the play in my head and everything leading up to it," he said. "I was kind of devastated, but I'm alright now."
He is set to undergo surgery in two weeks and could be back for some light practices in the spring. …
Bowden said there was one major key to this camp's three scrimmages.
"I think the biggest thing would be no injuries," he said. "We didn't have anybody hurt this time or last time."
Brandon Pilgrim is the second-team guard on both sides. … The coaching staff will start devising the scout team and which freshmen to redshirt on Wednesday.
Tuesday Scrimmage Notebook
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