Two of the most intriguing storylines surrounding new prep football starting quarterbacks involve University senior DJ White and The Dunham School’s Mike Williams.
Both are accomplished basketball players. White, 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, is a four-year starter and averaged 15 points and seven rebounds as the Cubs won their second straight Class 3A basketball title in 2015. He was a backup quarterback as a freshman, but didn’t play football the past two seasons.
Williams, a 6-2, 230-pound sophomore, averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds as a freshman at Redemptorist. He passed for 1,800 yards and 10 TDs and rushed for nine TDs. Redemptorist closed last spring, and Williams transferred to Dunham.
Both players are taller than the average quarterback and have the ability to run the football.
University advanced to the Division II state football title game the past two seasons and won the 2014 title. Quarterback Manny Miles, a two-year starter, led the Cubs along with decorated running back Nick Brossette.
White decided to return to football and is now being recruited in both sports.
“I have a lot of friends on the football team and sports are a family thing here at University,” White said. “I realized how much I missed the game.
“I played quarterback coming up as a youngster and everything is coming back to me.”
“DJ is a talented kid,” University coach Chad Mahaffey said. “He’s improved since the spring. He’s getting back into a good rhythm and working on being consistent. In fall camp, we’ll work to get him as many good reps as we can. He’ll have to learn under fire when the season starts.”
White said he has developed a good passing chemistry with receivers Tre Jackson, Malik Antoine and Chris Raymond. Jackson had over 1,000 yards receiving last season and is a South Carolina football commitment.
The Cubs return an experienced offensive line and some good running backs, Mahaffey said.
“We’ll have to see how our receivers progress,” Mahaffey said. “We have a lot of new faces on both sides of the ball. I think the guys we have are capable of being good players.”
White said Mahaffey has taught him patience in the pocket and how to read defenses.
“We’re working hard now as a team,” White said. “Everybody is on the same page. Coach Mahaffey really cares for the players.”
Williams made a name for himself as a youth with the South Baton Rouge Rams.
“Mike Williams is doing great for us,” Dunham coach Neil Weiner said. “He stood out for Redemptorist last season. He has a good work ethic. He runs well. I wouldn’t want to get in front of him.”
Dunham running back Tony Huey should help keep the offense balanced. Abel Duhon is one of the top receivers.
“I just want to produce for my team,” Williams said. “I’m working on being more accurate with my passes. I’m stronger than I was last year. I really like the contact in football.
“The move to Dunham was a positive thing. Coach Weiner runs a structured and organized program.”