But last year, after being anointed the starter in preseason camp, senior QB Chris Lum took control of the starting quarterback job, and didn't let go.
Not fighting for a job this summer is a pleasant change of pace for the Lake Orion, Michigan native as preseason camp is about to open for Lehigh. (more)
"It's a whole different feeling going into this season," a relaxed Chris Lum told me at Patriot League media day this week. "Especially for the seniors, we've never experienced anything like this. We finished with losing records [in '08 and '09]. We've never had any recognition like we have this year."
"I hope we can handle it," he added, noting that he's also been talking to the younger players as well about the amount of hard work it took to bring the program back to its current position as defending Patriot League champions.
Lum also talked to Michael LoRe of the Express-Times on the subject as well:
"We have to work harder than last year. It's going to take a lot of hard work and discipline to not buy into those rankings, yet ultimately prove that we can live up to them."
Lum's passing numbers were fairly solid last year (2,881 yards passing, 19 TDs), and he improved immensely as the season went along - 18 of his 19 passing touchdowns came after Week Six of the season.
But complacency is hardly a part of Chris' vocabulary.
"I only went home for three days this summer," he said, mentioning he was at Lehigh all summer working out and getting better. "I had a job right in Bethlehem and I've been working out with the team. I would have spent more time at home, but I had to get my wisdom teeth removed, so I had to come back early.
"It's hard, but I've been used to it. I've been up here every summer. Last year, I didn't miss a single summer workout. This year, I missed two."
And Chris is keenly aware of what he needs to work on - quickness, footwork, of course, but most importantly, accuracy.
"Number one is accuracy," he said. "I had too many interceptions last year. Another thing is I want to work on my deep pass. Other than that, I'm focusing on doing the same stuff I've always done my whole life - practice drills, getting in shape, lifting."
So did Chris think about Delaware, the 10-3 season, the victory over Northern Iowa?
"I haven't been trying to think too much about last season at all," he said. "That's over now, and doesn't count for anything this season. I guess what I've been thinking about the most is trying to get prepared as much as possible, and know that there's a target on our back. We've been picked to finish first in the league, and we have a Top 25 ranking.
"We know that, and we need to just prepare the best we can, and not be just satisfied with last season."
Lum also sat down with Keith Groller of the Morning Call and talked about preseason expectations as well:
"We have Monmouth first and I am looking forward to that game, but I am really looking forward to New Hampshire," quarterback Chris Lum said. "I didn't get to play against them last year because of an injury. We didn't play well up there, so we're really looking forward to that. It should be a great atmosphere."
"As hard as we worked last season, we're going to work twice as hard this year," Lum said. "I am a lot more confident this year, knowing the offense. I know I need to be a leader for this team and someone my teammates can turn to when we're down 10 points in the fourth quarter and they're wondering 'Can we win this game or not?' I need to be that guy."