"I've been working 23 years for this one start. This one game, that starts everything else."
Drew Allen's quote to me on Monday night sums it all up.
With Syracuse Football's 2013 season opener against Penn State looming in less than two weeks, the stakes are getting high.
Who will be Syracuse's starting quarterback at Met Life Stadium on that day?
We learned on Monday when we'll find out.
Syracuse Head Coach Scott Shafer told the media that he would not name (publically anyway) a starter before that season opener.
Meaning when you know, we'll know, and so will anybody watching.
The idea here being, why give Penn State any indication and any time to prepare for whomever the signal caller will be.
Say, Shafer said tonight Allen or Terrel Hunt was the starter. Suddenly, Penn State has 12 days to prepare for that player's skill set. Same idea with naming the starter even closer to kickoff, there's no point in letting the public know when the only result of which would be a tactical advantage for Penn State.
By all accounts, the competition is a dead heat.
I was fortunate to sit down with the two front runners, in the eyes of most spectators.
Drew Allen and Terrel Hunt.
Both have great stories to tell, they both encourage each other on the practice field.
They both want the starting nod.
Allen tells me that if he's the man, he'll be emotional. While he made sure to remind me that while he'd be emotional, he'd absolutely be locked in on the task at hand, he made sure to give thanks.
He said his efforts were for his family, his parents, any teammate he's ever had, and his girlfriend of a year-and-a-half.
The support, Allen says, has enabled him to reach this point---the cusp of a starting quarterback in major college football.
Hunt feels the same in a lot of ways. He's a New York guy, and to open up the season under center for New York's College team at the home of the New York Jets and Giants really speaks for itself.
Terrel also plays for his family, his mother tragically passed away at 48 after a battle with cancer three years ago.
"Being able to get the opportunity, and to overcome a whole bunch of things. I want to be a role model to younger kids who have actually had to overcome hard times and thought that it was like the end of the world. But really, it's not" Hunt told me, about having to deal with adversity on his way to this competition.
Bottom line, both Allen and Hunt are easy to root for. Both are polite, friendly and have a great story to tell.
We'll find out which story has a chapter that reads "Starting Quarterback in 2013 for Syracuse" on August 31st, at Met Life Stadium.