Coming into the season the quarterback play is one of the biggest questions. True freshman John Wolford won the starting job over Tyler Cameron, Kevin Sousa and Travis Smith with an overall impressive performance throughout fall practices.
Wolford will become the first true freshman quarterback to start his first game since Mike McGlamry against N.C. State in 1974.
He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville (FL), where he broke Tim Tebow's Northeast Florida record for career touchdown passes. During his senior season he threw for 3,317 yards with 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He also ran for 931 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He was especially effective in his final high school game (a 74-73 loss), throwing for 539 yards and seven touchdowns, rushing for three more with 234 rushing yards. He set a national high school record for total yards by an individual player with 773.
Scout ranked him the 63rd best quarterback in the nation and he also earned a Parade All-American Honorable Mention.
Wolford will obviously be a critical part of the offense this year and moving forward. There are several variables with the offensive line, new system that is being implemented, and his inexperience, but he demonstrated a lot of talent in the practices that we have seen so far.
I think it will be a year of ups and downs for Wolford, but expect him to surprise a lot of impartial observers throughout the season. He has very good poise for a young QB and appears to make very good decisions while under pressure and on the run. His legs add a different dimension that will surprise some teams who do not prepare and defend for it.
It's hard to predict numbers at this point in the season, but if he can limit mistakes and take care of the football everything else will take care of itself.