When freshman John Wolford showed up at Wake Forest in May for the first semester of summer school, he came to play.

Coach Dave Clawson intends to give him that opportunity.

“John Wolford is going to be our starting quarterback,” Clawson said after Monday’s practice. “We made that decision (Monday) after watching the tape of (Sunday’s) scrimmage.

“Not just last night in the scrimmage, but consistently through camp, he has executed the offense at the highest level. And I think he gives us our best opportunity to win football games.”

Wolford, a 6-1, 205-pound quarterback from Jacksonville, Fla., emerged from a four-way battle with redshirt junior Kevin Sousa, redshirt sophomore Tyler Cameron and freshman Travis Smith. Barring an injury or change of heart by Clawson, Wolford will be the first quarterback in 40 seasons to start his first game at Wake Forest when the Deacons open at Louisiana-Monroe on Aug. 28.

The last was Mike McGlamry in a 33-15 loss to N.C. State on Sept. 7, 1974.

Wolford will be replacing Tanner Price, a four-year starter at quarterback, Price was a reserve the first two games of his freshman season. He started the third game of the 2010 season after Ted Stachitas was sidelined by an injured hand.

Clawson, in his first season at Wake Forest, said the decision was based solely on the performances in preseason camp, and not on any desire to build for the future. Clawson said after Sunday’s scrimmage he plans to redshirt Smith so that he and Wolford won’t remain in the same eligibility class.