Division III football doesn't allow teams to practice in pads during spring ball, so Etherton and the Big Blue instead used that time to focus on the candidates at quarterback.
Recent Effingham graduate Nathan Vail will join the competition when the team reports in August, but no matter who earns the starting nod, Etherton knows that Whitaker and the offensive line can help soothe any early-season nerves.
"Experience on the offensive line is huge," Etherton said. "First-year starter at quarterback—a veteran offensive line is going to make his job easier. (Whitaker) started all ten games last year, we're excited to have him back."
Millikin kicks off the 2013 season with a home date against Greenville on Sep. 7.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org