JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – For a third-straight season, the Bucs will turn to Tyler Riddell as the team’s starting quarterback.

ETSU head football coach, George Quarles, explained at the beginning of the offseason that the starting job would be up for competition. But, on Saturday, Quarles made it clear that the Tampa, Florida native would be QB1.

“I think Tyler, he’s definitely our quarterback,” he said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “We had hoped to get a little more competition, it just hasn’t materialized that way. Part of that’s been – Tyler’s been good.”

Eastern Michigan transfer Baron May has received a majority of the snaps with the second-team offense this preseason. Junior Haynes Eller and Illinois State transfer Timothy Dorsey have also seen time under center this summer.

Riddell has compiled 24 starts for the Blue and Gold over the past two seasons and helped lead the 2021 squad to a share of the SoCon Football championship and a spot in the FCS Quarterfinals.

“It’s kind of better when something is not just handed to you,” Riddell said Saturday. “You know, you have to go out and work for it because it’s going to bring your best every day with those guys right there next to you pushing you. You know, they’re doing good things, too. Now, I got to step it up and I got to elevate my game.”

“Give that guy credit,” Quarles said. “Now, people come after his job and he’s like, ‘No way, you know, it’s mine.’ That’s the way he needs to play, though. He needs to play with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder that he’s trying to prove that he belongs, which I think he does.”

The Bucs will open the 2023 campaign on September 2 at Jacksonville State. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET.