It may not feel like it, but rising redshirt sophomore quarterback Greyson Lambert is already in his third spring at Virginia.
Lambert enrolled early at UVa two years ago, then wound up spending the 2012 season on the sideline while redshirting. Last year, Lambert appeared in seven games as David Watford's back-up.
"Well the games really helped," Lambert said Thursday morning, after the Cavaliers' second practice of the 2014 spring session. "All of that helped everybody that got to play. Getting able to see a full, live rep. You can only demonstrate it so much in practice. So that all, all the reps we got in the games, no matter what the situation, it all helped."
Watford, a rising junior, and rising sophomore Matt Johns are also back for the Cavaliers this season. But through the team's first two practices this spring, it's been Lambert getting the snaps with the starters on offense.
Last week, prior to the start of spring practices, UVa coach Mike London declared the starting quarterback job open.
"He's matured over the last couple years," London said of Lambert on Thursday. "His football IQ has gotten better. He's been in college games now. And he's excited about being able to compete for the opportunity to be the starting quarterback."
"Today was a little rough in spots," Lambert said of Thursday's practice. "I hit some throws, missed some throws. But overall I feel good, compared to last year."
Watford and Lambert were the only two players to appear at quarterback for UVa in 2013. Lambert threw for 340 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions, but completed just 44 percent of his passes as a redshirt freshman in 2013. Watford threw for 2,022 yards and eight touchdowns, with 15 interceptions and a 57.1 completion percentage.
"All of us feel like we have an opportunity to play next year," Lambert said. "And with it open, we're all just competing, and cheering each other on whenever we're not in."