The last time Greg Alexander played in a football game, he led Santa Rosa Junior College in the State Center Bowl at Reedley High School. His counterpart? Reedley quarterback Darius Reynolds.

What a difference nine months makes.

Alexander, a former star at Piner High, is likely to be the starting quarterback for Hawaii when the Rainbows, 35-point underdogs, visit No. 5 Florida on Saturday at “The Swamp,” 88,548-seat Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida’s quarterback? Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.

Hawaii coach Greg McMackin has said his choice of a quarterback for Saturday’s game will be a game-time decision, but Alexander, a junior, appears to be the likely choice.

Two weeks ago, sophomore Brent Rausch was named the starter, but Rausch began experiencing pain in his right forearm and biceps last week. Rausch has since declared himself healthy. But McMackin said Alexander played well when Rausch sat out. As a result, Alexander worked with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday. After the practice, McMackin said, “If the game (were) today, I’d go with Greg.”

The quarterback situation could have another plot twist after the Florida game.

Senior Tyler Graunke, who was impressive in relief of Heisman candidate Colt Brennan last year, has missed much of training camp due to academic issues. He has returned to practice, but won’t make the trip to Florida.