By Dave Fairbank, email@example.com | 757-247-4637
3:41 PM EDT, August 26, 2013
Michael Graham took advantage of offseason surgeries to his buddies in William and Mary's quarterback competition and was named the opening-week starter by coach Jimmye Laycock.
Graham, a fifth-year senior from Charlottesville, was the healthiest and most experienced quarterback in preseason camp and earned the job, as the Tribe prepares for Saturday's opener at West Virginia.
"He's done very well in preseason, that's probably the number one factor," Laycock said. "He's got some game experience and he's handled himself well, and he certainly has improved as we've gone through preseason. He's ready to go."
Raphael Ortiz has been limited throughout preseason as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Brent Caprio was limited by foot surgery, but Laycock said he is further along physically and closer to being able to play. Redshirt freshman Christian Brumbaugh is listed as Graham's backup for the opener.
Graham started six games and played in 11 games the past two seasons, though both were limited by injuries. Last season he completed 58 of 127 passes for 776 yards, with eight touchdowns and six interceptions.
Graham's best performance came at Old Dominion, where he threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-31 loss that also included three interceptions. He threw for two touchdowns in a 21-14 loss to Richmond.
Laycock declined to say if quarterback would be an open competition if and when Caprio and Ortiz are healthy and cleared to practice and play.
"Mike's the starting quarterback for West Virginia," Laycock said. "I'm more concerned getting ready for West Virginia."
The Tribe returns eight starters from a 2-9 team that finished near the bottom of the CAA in scoring offense, total offense and pass offense last season.
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