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Nassib surprised, excited about being named Orange starter

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
Ryan Nassib wasn't sure he would have a real chance to be the starting quarterback at Syracuse. He sure as heck didn't think he would win the job after just four spring practices.

But the redshirt freshman found out Monday morning that he had been elevated to No. 1 among the Orange signalcallers, over veterans Cam Dantley and Andrew Robinson.

"Truthfully, I always thought I could play," Nassib said Monday night after practice. "But I always doubted that maybe the coaches would want to go with experience. Maybe I would need to be groomed for another year.

"On other side, though, when I got out there I was like, 'I know I can do this.' So I started working for it. Better early than never."

Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said he likes Nassib's quick release and accuracy.

"He throws a great ball," receiver Mike Williams said. "He hits you right on your route. He's really looking good."

The downside is Nassib's lack of experience, outside of the scout team last year.

"I've got a lot of learning to do," he said. "But it's still early in spring ball. I have fun with it and I enjoy learning the schemes and the philosophies of the game. It's fun for me."

Nassib said he got plenty of text messages and voice mails from friends and family back home in Pennsylvania. He's the starting quarterback , and he's ready to start acting like it.

"It's real now," he said. "So I've just got to go out there and execute."