Tallahassee, FL - Standing on the sideline among his teammates, Damien Fleming no longer blends in. He's now "The Guy" under center. But, he admits, he still has some learning to do.
"Our Coach, he's helping me become a better student of the game - with reads and everything I need to know, knowing where I need to go with the ball almost before the play even starts," Fleming said.
"For the first time, you see, we're actually doing some audibling," Head Coach Joe Taylor said. "But he brings that to the table because he's a sharp kid and he understands secondaries."
"As a young guy coming up, he's probably the best I've ever seen," senior linebacker Brandon Hepburn said. "He's really precise with his decisions that he makes and that makes him a great quarterback."
That couldn't have been more evident in 2011 when the Jacksonville product threw for 1,622 yards and 11 touchdowns in 9 games.
Fleming was a highly recruited prospect in high school. He had an offer from Vanderbilt, but rejected the Commodores to become a Rattler.
"I know some guys who go to those bigger schools they just get lost," he said. "So I just think it was best for me."
His goal for the rest of the offseason leading up to the Fall is to have a bigger voice in the huddle.
"I know if I have those guys behind me 100 percent we can go out there and do almost anything," he said. So, that would be big for me."
Fleming was 20/25, throwing for 271 yards, 2 touchdowns and was picked off twice in the spring game.