Cody Seeger figured the quickest way to get on the field was to switch positions.
The 2009 Barrington graduate forgot that backup quarterbacks tend to see their fair of action over the course of a long season.
With Drake's Mike Piatkowski sidelined by a concussion, Seeger led the Bulldogs to a 21-19 victory over Valparaiso in his first career start Saturday.
While his inexperience was evident at times, Seeger was an efficient 15-for-23 for 106 yards and a touchdown in place of Piatkowski, who is expected to return to the lineup when the 2-2 Bulldogs host Marist this Saturday.
"We just got done with film review," Seeger said in a phone interview Monday evening. "By far, I wasn't perfect. There are a bunch of things I need to learn from and get better at. Mike is a great role model. He was on the sideline on all game long coaching me up. That really helped."
It was the presence of Piatkowski, a redshirt sophomore from Wheaton Warrenville South, that fueled Seeger's decision to switch positions.
After redshirting as a freshman last fall, Seeger asked to be moved to receiver because Piatkowski locked his grip on the starting job by throwing for 2,139 yards on 62.8 percent passing and leading the Bulldogs to an 8-3 mark in 2009.
Then Seeger received a phone call from Drake coach Chris Creighton.
"Our backup quarterback had a shoulder injury, and coach said we have to have you fill the spot at second-string quarterback," Seeger said. "There's another quarterback they wanted to be able to redshirt, so this was my role. I was a little disappointed at first not to play receiver, but I knew I had to accept whatever was best for the team."
Even if Seeger does return to the sideline this week, as expected, he said the experience will make him prepare for each game with a greater sense of urgency.
"It's only been four weeks, and I already played a game-and-a-half," said Seeger, who was pressed into action when Piatkowski was injured by a helmet-to-helmet blow in a loss to Montana State the previous week.
"It already happened once, so I know it's real. I have to prepare like I'm starting that week, every week. I'm doing everything I can to be ready mentally."
Year: Redshirt freshman.
High school: Barrington.
Stats: 28-for-52, 210 yards, TD, INT.
FYI: The Bulldogs roster lists 44 players from Illinois, including captains LB Ben Morrison (Stevenson), WR Steve Platek (Hersey) and DE Andrew Asbell (Machensey Park Harlem).