His boot and crutches long gone, Drew Dudzik says he's ready to once again compete for the starting quarterback job at James Madison.
"Yeah, definitely. I'm excited," says Dudzik, whose junior season was cut short by a broken foot against Richmond last October. "I'm a senior now. This is my team, and I'm ready to go."
On Monday, Dudzik was cleared by his doctor to begin light workouts. A day later, he was on the turf field behind the University Recreation Center, throwing passes to teammates for the first time since his injury.
Dudzik's doctor told the quarterback his foot is stronger now than it was before it broke. But Dudzik says he won't try running until the Dukes begin team workouts next week.
Earlier this offseason, coach Mickey Matthews said Dudzik and rising sophomore Justin Thorpe will once again enter spring practice in competition for the starting quarterback job.
The two competed to replace Rodney Landers throughout last spring and into summer camp, then split time under center until Dudzik was injured.
Thorpe initially struggled after Dudzik was lost for the season. But the freshman rallied to lead JMU to four straight wins to finish the year, and was named CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year.
"Sitting out, having to watch, it kills you. Having to watch every game that I missed this season," says Dudzik. "I'm just real excited to get back out there and go win a championship this year."