Caleb TerBush has only appeared in one game in the past three years for Purdue, but he looks on the bright side of things.
"Technically, I got the first-game jitters out of the way," he said.
That's a good thing, because it looks like TerBush will be pressed into service as the Boilermakers' starting quarterback when they open the season next Saturday against Middle Tennessee.
Few would have predicted this scenario. But presumed starter Rob Henry tore his right ACL in practice on Tuesday. Robert Marve, who opened the 2010 season as the starter, still hasn't recovered fully from his torn ACL in 2010. That leaves TerBush and sophomore Sean Robinson, and head coach Danny Hope said both will play in Week 1.
TerBush seems the most likely to earn the starting nod, and he almost certainly would have played last season but was ruled academically ineligible in August. He called 2010 "a humbling year."
He's a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder who was well regarded as a recruit out of high school. He made his lone appearance in a game in 2009 against Wisconsin, going 4-for-10 for 22 yards.
"I'm excited to get back in there," TerBush said.
Hope said TerBush and Robinson have had solid camps, and both players have gotten reps with the first string as Henry and Marve missed time this month. TerBush says he's going to keep the same mindset.
"Nothing has really changed out here," he said. "It's not really a one-man team in football. We're working our best to always get better. I feel like we've had a pretty good camp, and we'll roll with that and see who gets in there first [next] Saturday."
TerBush said he hasn't had a chance yet to speak much with Henry, who has been busy dealing with his injury. He's disappointed for his teammate but knows he has a job to do.
"I just need to build chem with the [starters]," he said. "I've had a few snaps here and there, but chemistry is really important. We've got another week to work on it."
And another week before Caleb TerBursh is most likely the surprise starter for Purdue at quarterback.