Rebooting a computer is relatively simple. If only it was that easy for a quarterback, right?
Parkview Baptist’s Roman Mula wants to prove that point.
“I understand the offense so much better than I did last year,” Mula said. “It feels natural. I am comfortable reading the defense now.
“I want to show what I can do to lead the team. As a senior quarterback, it's on me.”
Mula is no newbie under center for the Class 3A Eagles. He started multiple games as a sophomore when Parkview ran its traditional option attack.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Mula got a crash course in the spread offense when Stefan LeFors took over as Parkview’s coach in the spring of 2019.
Asking a quarterback groomed to run an option since the second grade to run the spread after a few months can be like having a fish ride a bicycle.
The competitive crash for Mula had little to do with game plans. Mononucleosis kept him out of the lineup for early season games. Next came a bout with the flu.
Mula never caught up. The Eagles finished 5-6. Mula completed 87 of 160 passes for 837 yards and six touchdowns with four interceptions. He ran for 476 yards on 95 carries and scored 10 TDs.
“Roman put in a lot of work last year to learn the offense,” LeFors said. “By the time he came back from mono, he lost a lot of what he worked to build up physically.
“At that point, the game was moving so fast. Roman was learning to make the defensive reads. It wasn’t second nature yet.”
The coronavirus pandemic has been a deterrent to high school sports. But it offered opportunities for LeFors and Mula.
They reviewed film together. Once Louisiana’s reopening began, LeFors, a former Louisville and pro quarterback, tutored his quarterback on footwork and other skills.
“I want the chance to play quarterback in college,” Mula said. “With everything coach LeFors has done, it would be foolish not to take advantage of every chance I have to learn from him.
“I worked to learn the system and plays last year. But I had to think about what to do too much.”
Seeing Mula become more comfortable with his spread offense was only part of an offseason mission for LeFors.
“Roman is a talented kid. He has all the skills and throws the ball better than I think people realize,” LeFors said. “I hope we get to play our season, and I hope he gets the chance to show what he can do.
“I want the offense to be automatic for him. If we get to the point where he knows what I am thinking on every play, we will really have something. We’re getting there.”
Mula’s quest to play college football shifted after a summer commitment to Air Force. He decommitted and recently received an offer from Stetson.
Like Mula, teammate Ian Pourciau, a linebacker/running back, is eager to prove the Eagles are a force to be reckoned with.
“I believe we are going to surprise people, and I know Roman can shock them,” said Pourciau, a Navy commitment. “His arm is stronger, and he is confident. We’ve done some socially distant 7-on-7s the last couple of weeks and I see it.
“I pick him off every now and then, but he gets the best of us too. His reads are good, and he knows how to use his receivers.”
Pourciau said Mula’s ability to throw the deep ball could be the biggest surprise. Mula, meanwhile, stresses team goals.
“For sure … we have things to prove,” Mula said. “We’re not that option team now. We’re Parkview, and we’re still here.”