FORT HUACHUCA - Matt Scott arrived at the old Army installation Wednesday night as the Arizona Wildcats' fallback - and, just maybe, their future.
The backup quarterback will attempt to redshirt this season, putting him in a position to start as a fifth-year player in 2012. That plan would be scuttled - and Scott would play - if starter Nick Foles misses any time because of injury.
And so Scott remains in a holding pattern, a heartbeat away from a role that he's been dreaming of but may not, for now, want.
"I'm ready to grow, ready to get better and ready for a great season," Scott said. "I want to be the starter, and I want to play, but I have to take a backseat right now.
"Hopefully, I'll get my chance."
Opportunities have come in bunches for Scott since he enrolled at the UA. He played in six games as Willie Tuitama's backup as a true freshman in 2008, then started three games as a sophomore before losing his job to Foles.
When Foles suffered a dislocated kneecap midway through last season, Scott stepped up. He shepherded the offense to a win at Washington State, then combined for 688 yards of total offense in wins over Washington and UCLA.
Those numbers would have been better, but Scott fractured his wrist in the third quarter against the Bruins. Though he downplayed the injury at the time, Scott was too injured to be effective.
Foles rushed to return the following week, while Scott spent the final two months of the season trying to get right. He came back from the wrist injury too early and, as a result, tweaked his throwing shoulder. Scott warmed up before the Alamo Bowl loss to Oklahoma State but was in so much pain that he stayed on the sideline.
Scott said last year, with its highs and lows, "was kind of big for me."
"With the injuries, it was kind of tough," he said.
A better plan popped up during the offseason. Scott, 20, and his coaches agreed to consider a redshirt this fall, assuming Foles can stay healthy.
Those closest to Scott insist that he'll be ready if things change.
"Matt's preparing to play," Foles said. "That's his approach to the whole thing."
Quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo is uncomfortable talking about redshirts, even when speaking generally. Still, he said that coaches will be pragmatic when it comes to Scott.
"We're planning to play him," Scelfo said. "If you need him to win a game, he's playing. You don't want to put him in just to put him in. We're not going to play him or placate him - but if we need him to win, he's going to play."
Scott insists that he's going to "treat this year like it's any other camp, and act like I'm fighting for that starting spot."
Even if the end result could change Scott's future plans.
"I don't see any point in being out there," Scott said, "if you're not trying to get ready."
Coming Aug. 28
The Star's 2011 college football preview section.
• Season opener: Sept. 3 vs. NAU