In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee (2) drops back to pass during an NCAA football game against Presbyterian in Atlanta. Lee, making his debut, had a starring role in Georgia Tech's lopsided win over Presbyterian, but what does it mean for Saturday's ACC game against Virginia? (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
ATLANTA -- Vad Lee appears to be emerging as Georgia Tech's future at quarterback.
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said Tuesday he'll try to play Lee behind senior starter Tevin Washington on Saturday against Virginia.
Johnson was restrained when discussing plans for Lee in the Atlantic Coast Conference game.
"He's got ability and we're going to try to bring him along and not throw him to the lions," Johnson said. "He's still a redshirt freshman. He's still got a long time to be here and a long time to learn, but we're excited about where he is."
Lee (6-2, 213) had a successful debut playing behind Washington in last week's 59-3 win over Presbyterian. He ran for 101 yards, including a 79-yarder, and threw an impressive 82-yard touchdown pass. He also had a 1-yard touchdown run.
"I think he did some positive things," Johnson said. "He's got great upside. He'd be the first to tell you he's got a lot of things to work on."
Lee made his debut on Georgia Tech's third series in the first quarter. He ran and passed for touchdowns in the third quarter.
"I obviously had a lot of fun in the debut but you know what, it's over," Lee said after Tuesday's practice. "I had fun and that was Saturday and we're off to a new week. It gives me extra motivation and an extra boost."
Johnson wouldn't reveal his plans for Lee against the Cavaliers.
"We'll see. I'm going to try to play him some," Johnson said. "I'm not going to commit to saying he's going to be in on the second series or the third series or whatever. I'll play it by feel to some degree and Vad and I will know that. No one else will."
Johnson's most revealing comment about Lee's future may have been when he revealed Synjyn Days, Washington's other backup, is practicing more at running back than at quarterback this week.
Days' role could give Lee the opportunity to prove he can play behind Washington this season and take the starting job in 2013.
"Well, I'm just going to continue to work," Lee said.
"I know for a fact that I will be ready. I've been working since the spring, trying to get better at the little things. I know I'll be ready if my number is called."When asked if Days' time at the A-back position means Lee is the backup quarterback, Johnson said "Situational. It would depend on the situation.""Synjyn is playing A-back mostly in practice but he'll still spend some time at quarterback," Johnson said, adding his decision about the backup quarterback would be decided by "what you're trying to do and what gives you the chance."
Johnson said Lee's playing time could increase this season.
"It's hopeful as you move along he will progress himself to the point that you feel good about him in that situation and it could possibly progress to the point where he's playing all the time some," Johnson said. "I don't know that he will beat the other guy out this year, but there could be a situation if he progresses and continues to get better that we could play with both of them some."