November 15, 2013 Updated: November 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm
It seems the adjustments for Nate Romine have been entirely on the field.
Despite taking on the highest profile spot for an Air Force athlete as the football team's starting quarterback, the freshman has seen no change in the demands on his time.
"Really the only difference is I might hear an occasional, "Hey, QB 1" in the hallway, or, 'Hey Nate, good game,'" Romine said. "But there's not much else. There are no secret QB meetings where you pull a certain panel on the bookshelf and there's a secret room."
The adjustments on the field have been sudden and somewhat spectacular.
In three starts, Romine's passing yardage totals have climbed from 37 to 111 to 188. At New Mexico last week, Romine completed 10 passes in a row during one stretch (the 11th was catchable as well) and threw for three touchdowns. One of those scores came on a gutsy 4th-and-3 call from the New Mexico 19, illustrating the coaching staff's confidence in him.
"I feel like I'm getting comfortable, but then I look at film and I'm like, 'Well, there's a lot more I could be doing,'" Romine said. "So there's a lot of room for improvement, but I feel I've improved a lot."
Air Force's confidence in the quarterback is obvious. Not only was there the 4th-down call, but Romine threw 23 times in a game in which the Falcons couldn't afford to give up a possession. In fact, they ended up losing 45-37 despite failing to score on just two possessions.
During a season in which little has gone Air Force's way, stumbling upon Romine as the fourth option at quarterback because of injuries and a suspension may ultimately be what stands out most about this campaign.
"He's a quality prospect," coach Troy Calhoun said. "We felt like that coming in."
Calhoun's only concern for Romine's future is the same that he feels for all of his players - getting through the difficult first three semesters at the academy.
"There are potential hurdles, pitfalls, struggles that are in front of him," Calhoun said. "Military accomplishments, the honor, the academics and still just make sure his body improves to where he can become a little more of a physical runner, and I think that will help him as a thrower."
As far as the academics and rigors that come with cadet life, Romine seemed as cool handling them as he has the offense.
"It's kind of been an accelerated maturing, but I don't mind," Romine said. "It's been fun."