Daryll Clark should and most likely will be Penn State's starting quarterback this season.
There are many reasons why, most importantly because Clark is more versatile, more experienced and, from this view, brings more to the table than Pat Devlin.
There's also this possible reason why Clark is the frontrunner for the job: He's Jay Paterno's guy.
The quarterbacks coach recruited Clark, lobbied for him to play last season, almost certainly is lobbying again in the preseason and always has glowing things to say about the redshirt junior.
Why does JayPa do these things? Maybe it's because Clark really is that good. We'll know soon enough if that's the case.
One other possibility could be this: Jay Paterno has a lot riding on Daryll Clark's performance.
The younger Paterno frequently gets ripped by media and fans for a perceived lack of development by Penn State's quarterbacks. Internet message boards are full of jokes about how JayPa learned his offensive strategy playing football video games, and there's still a widespread perception he only has his job because of his father.
A lot of that stuff may not be fair, but there's no denying it's out there.
One way to rid himself of some criticism is for JayPa to prove he can develop an all-around quarterback. If Clark succeeds, it will validate the younger Paterno's work in many ways.
Isn't that also true with Devlin, you might ask? Perhaps, but maybe not.
Devlin came to PSU with a terrific pedigree, having set the Pennsylvania career passing record at Downingtown East High School. He already is widely expected to be a very good quarterback.
If Devlin wins the starting job and succeeds, he simply will have met peoples' expectations. And fair or not, Jay Paterno probably will not get much credit for working with and helping Devlin.
If, however, Devlin is like Anthony Morelli and fails to develop or struggles during his career ... oh boy! The JayPa criticism might reach an all-time high.
In a sense, Devlin presents almost a no-win situation for Jay.
Clark, on the other hand, presents a golden opportunity for Paterno to prove he is capable of developing a quarterback.
Clark has a reputation for being a good runner who must prove he can throw the ball. He was more of a project when he came to Penn State than Devlin was, so if Clark turns out to be very good, JayPa will deserve a lot of credit.
He may not get the credit - some people seem to hold an unreasonable grudge against the guy - but he will have earned it.
JayPa often talks about Michael Robinson's success in 2005 and how he was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. He uses that as proof he knows how to work with quarterbacks.
The trouble there is Robinson was a senior leader and superb athlete who often made plays thanks to his immense talent. He succeeded, in the minds of some, simply because he was so good and not because Jay Paterno helped him improve.
If Clark turns out to be anything like Robinson, the critics may get off JayPa's back a bit. Jay is an intelligent guy, so don't think he doesn't know all of this.
Could that be part of his motivation for talking up Clark so much? It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
Will Joe Paterno give it any thought that Clark's success might make his son look good? The head coach would never admit that publicly, but surely he would like for people to think more highly of Jay.
A big year by Clark, more so than Devlin, could go a long way in that direction.
Cory Giger is at 949-7031 and firstname.lastname@example.org.