ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech fans got a taste of what they might expect to see from quarterback Vad Lee a year ago. He played about half the snaps during the second half of the season, splitting time with senior Tevin Washington.
Now Lee, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound redshirt-sophomore from Durham, N.C., will be the starter.
He earned the job in the spring. However, the question remains: Will Lee be the offensive dynamo who helped the Yellow Jackets put 68 points on the board against North Carolina or the guy who didn't always make the best decisions when it came to running the offense?
"Vad is a better athlete than Tevin," coach Paul Johnson said. "He had a great game in Chapel Hill, but there were other times when we wanted the consistency that Tevin brought.
"To start the season, it'll be Vad's show."
In that breakout game against North Carolina, Lee ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 169 yards and one touchdown.
He played all but two series against the Tar Heels and essentially split time with Washington the rest of the year.
Lee ended up rushing 96 times for 544 yards and nine touchdowns. He completed 27 of 56 passes for 596 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
"He has a lot of outstanding characteristics for a quarterback," Johnson said. "He's got good speed and size, but more important he's a hard worker, a natural leader and he really wants to be good."
Washington was a quiet leader and well-respected in the locker room. Lee is more charismatic; players want to gravitate toward him.
"The biggest thing about Vad is he's coming in as a young guy, but he has such a maturity about him and a confidence that he almost comes off as a junior or senior," senior offensive lineman Will Jackson said. "He takes command of the huddle, which is something very critical for a quarterback."
Lee has shown a big arm, something Tech didn't have with Washington. Lee's arm is considered better than Joshua Nesbitt's and may be the program's best in many years.
"He can throw the ball extremely well, about as well as anybody since I've been here," Jackson said.
"And running the football, he's also very dangerous. I'm excited to see what he can do."
And while Tech isn't likely to start flinging the ball all around Bobby Dodd Stadium, Johnson wants the air attack to be more effective. His goal is for the team to rank among the top 15 in the nation in passing efficiency.
"It's exciting," Lee said. "This is why I chose Georgia Tech. This is why I play the quarterback position because I like the ball in my hands. I like to distribute the ball to people. I'm not selfish at all. I'm just the man that's distributing the ball and trying to make plays for the team."
Lee earned the starting job in the spring, but will continue to have competition from Justin Thomas, a redshirt-freshman from Alabama. Thomas has many of the same traits possessed by former Tech great Joe Hamilton and is likely to press Lee all year.
"There is a competition," Johnson said. "Justin Thomas had a good spring and he's a good player in his own right. I think there will be a competition as long as the two players are here. They both bring a lot to the table."