Jordan Black has started and won games at quarterback for The Citadel, and has played plenty of snaps in the last two seasons.
But the 6-1, 200-pound junior is playing a new role as the Bulldogs begin spring practice — unquestioned starter and team leader.
"It's definitely more of a leadership role for me to come in and try to get these guys right," said Black, who played in 10 games last year behind starter Dominique Allen. "But other than that, it's just like any other season, coming out here and playing football."
Black ran with the first-team offense as The Citadel began spring practice Thursday, and recently met with coach Brent Thompson to discuss his new role on the team.
"I brought him in the off-season and told him, the team is getting turned over to you now," Thompson said. "It's up to you to lead. He's actually already been head of our leadership group and has worked extremely hard in the off-season.
"It will be interesting to see what he's like out here now in the huddle, now that we're all looking at him."
Black passed for 584 yards and six touchdowns against one interception in 50 attempts last season, and rushed for 303 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs' triple option offense.
"He throws it well, and has been proven to throw it a little more efficiently in game situations," Thompson said. "He's got great quick feet, and the one thing we have to constantly preach to him is ball security.
"But he can turn a bad play into a good one. I've seen him go out the backside and get first downs for us, get himself out of trouble with his feet."
Black started the first three games of the 2016 season as a redshirt freshman, leading the Bulldogs to a come-from-behind win in the season opener at Mercer and setting the stage for a 10-2 season and second straight Southern Conference championship.
Last year, the Bulldogs dropped off to a 5-6 record, something that doesn't with well with the new starting QB or his coach.
"We definitely have that monkey on our back," Black said. "It's time for us to work hard and get back to what we are used to doing. We're trying to get back to our brand of football, and that's this spring is about — getting back to Citadel football."
• Fullback Evan McField from Goose Creek is not on the roster this spring. He suffered a knee injury in spring practice last season as a junior.
• Defensive back Khafari Buffalo also is missing from the spring practice roster, though Thompson said he's on the team and could return to practice before spring ball is over. Buffalo, a rising junior, played in 11 games with 33 tackles last season.
• Rising sophomore Brandon Rainey has moved from fullback back to quarterback, and will compete with Ryan McCarthy for the backup job behind Black. McCarthy redshirted last season and has been working out with the baseball team. He will be all-football during spring practice.