Long ago, he was originally called a blocking back.
He can lead vocally or by example - or both.
At the prep level, he's usually one of the best athletes on the team, and sometimes will play on the other side of the ball.
When a team wins, he often gets a lot of the credit. But, if a team loses, he shoulders, fair or unfair, much of the blame. He is after all a spotlight player, and it comes with the territory.
He is of course the quarterback.
Marietta High and Warren High could have a slight advantage when football practice kicks off during the first week of August.
Same goes for Waterford, Monroe Central, Shenandoah, St. Marys and Parkersburg Catholic.
Each of these schools is expected to have an experienced QB taking center snaps. And, that won't really be the case for Fort Frye, Frontier, Belpre, Caldwell, Morgan and Williamstown, which all graduated senior signal callers this past spring.
At Marietta last season, Justin Futrell was the starting quarterback until he suffered a season-ending broken collarbone in the second quarter of a 27-7 setback at Chillicothe on Oct. 1.
Futrell missed the Tigers' last four games of the campaign during which the orange and black went 1-3. A very effective manager of the offense, before the 6-foot, 155-pounder was sidelined, he'd completed 19 of 41 passes for 363 yards and four touchdowns. He had only one throw interecepted.
Earlier in the season in a 35-21 win over Cambridge, Futrell passed for 100 yards, including one 74-yard scoring strike, which capped a 99-plus yard drive.
Futrell - who ultimately recovered from his football injury to play basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring - was replaced at QB by Morgan Wynn, Matt McKitrick and Anthony Kimbrough.
When August rolls around, Kimbrough, a sophomore, figures to provide Futrell with competition for the starting position, while McKitrick, a senior, is expected line up as a running back or a wideout. Wynn graduated last spring.
Over at Warren, Dylan Leffingwell put up some pretty impressive numbers in his sophomore season. In one game against Morgan, he completed 15-of-17 throws for 339 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-6 triumph.
Now a junior, Leffingwell figures to get even better, especially with one of his two primary receivers expected back in Jeremy Fivecoait. Grant Venham, the other pass catcher, graduated and is now at Ohio University, hoping to punt for the Bobcats.
With 6-foot-2, 200-pound Leffingwell handing off to running backs like Austin Henthorn, Dustin Harlow and Jeremy Hastie, Andy Schob-coached Warren could have a nice balanced attack on the gridiron this fall.
Looking at the other schools, Waterford has QB Trevor Lang back; Monroe Central, Tyler Kinchen; Shenandoah, Eli Hurst; St. Marys, K.D. Arnett; and Catholic, Daniel Collie.
There is of course no substitute for experience at that all-important position.
In the other camps, Fort Frye will need to replace Eddie Watson; Frontier, Corey Fickiesen; Belpre, Clay Ullman; Caldwell, Dylan Sayre; Morgan, Jason Vynalek; and Williamstown; Lane Knost.
The pre-season competition and scrimmages could be very intense and revealing. But, someone on each of these teams will ultimately step up to lead the offense.
No question about that.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at email@example.com