North Texas Daily

New starting quarterback adjusts to changes

New starting quarterback adjusts to changes

New starting quarterback adjusts to changes
September 25
00:11 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

When the Mean Green football team released its first depth chart in August, redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Williams was not listed. After four games, he is now the starting quarterback and embracing all the responsibilities given to him on and off the field.

“I had to prove that I could go out there and be real confident and real calm and collected, and just lead the team down the field,” Williams said.

At the start of the season, the coaching staff decided to go with sophomore Josh Greer as the starting quarterback and junior Andrew McNulty as his primary backup. Williams wasn’t initially considered because he still had growing up to do.

“Dajon Williams has the most talent of all our quarterbacks, but there is so much more to this game than talent,” head coach Dan McCarney said.

Williams got a significant amount of playing time toward the end of the Mean Green’s 42-21 loss to Louisiana Tech University. Following that, Williams was named the starter for the team’s next game against Nicholls State University.

Williams shone in his first start, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for two more in the 77-3 blowout win on Saturday.

Williams now has more responsibility than he has ever had, which is a stark contrast from his childhood.

Growing up in Austin, Williams didn’t know what position he would play, but knew he was athletic enough to try any position in football. His father, however, had an idea of what position his son would play in the future.

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Redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Williams escapes two Nicholls State University defenders while running down the sideline. Williams rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Photo by Ryan Vance – Staff Photographer

“My dad would always say I would play quarterback, because he would see how far I would throw the ball when I was young,” Williams said.

Williams attended Connally High School in nearby Pflugerville, where he started as quarterback. He helped his team get into the playoffs two years in a row and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine named him one the top 300 recruits for the 2012 season.

In his senior season, Williams passed for 1,618 yards, 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He said he loved playing for his high school and admired the work the team put in all those years.

“[We] just kept pushing every day, building chemistry and making plays,” Williams said.

His high school coach, Howard McMahan, said Williams was an explosive athlete who could make plays with his feet. Yet he was more impressed with how much better he got as a passer. By his senior year, Williams had turned into a leader, something that seemed to become natural for him.

“He is a fun-loving guy, and he enjoys playing the game of football,” McMahan said. “Every day he came to practice, he had a bounce to his step which I think was contagious, not to just the kids on our team, but our coaching staff.”

After high school, Williams decided to come to North Texas, but had to redshirt his first year. Going into the offseason, Williams missed a majority of the voluntary workouts over the summer and missed two major scrimmages. With little work, Williams wasn’t ready to start the season.

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Redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Williams reaches back to launch the ball downfield against Nicholls State University on Saturday. Williams threw three touchdowns during his starting debut. Photo by Ryan Vance – Staff Photographer

“Next thing you know you enter camp, his shoulder is worn out because he didn’t do the things he needed to in the summer in preparation for the season,” McCarney said.

Things took another turn in Williams’ life during the first week of the season. Williams and his girlfriend Nicole Woods became the parents of a baby girl named Brielle. Being a father drastically changed the priorities in Williams’ life.

“I got another piece of me and that is my motivation,” Williams said. “I got to push harder, so she can have a better life.”

Currently, Brielle lives in Austin, and Williams tries to visit as much as he can. With his priorities now shifted, his teammates are noticing a much different person than they knew previously.

“From when we first got here as freshmen until now, the guy has matured a lot,” sophomore receiver Darvin Kidsy said. “With all the off-the-field issues, he still comes to practice and makes us feel like nothing is going on. He has a good head on his shoulders.”

Since being named starter, Williams said he has changed the way he prepares for games, including spending more time in the film room.

“I hadn’t been going there a lot when I wasn’t the starter,” Williams said. “But now I realize how important it is and that is what I was missing.”

After the win against Nicholls State, McCarney has noticed the work Williams put into the film room has been successful.

“It sure paid off. He has a great look in his eye and I think he knows a lot of people are pulling for him and are excited for him,” McCarney said. “When you do a good job in the week, it usually shows up on Saturdays and it did for Dajon.”

Williams knows he can get to the next level and play much better than he has in the past. It is just a matter of execution.

“I have the athletic ability that everyone says I have, but I just got to put it all together on and off the field,” Williams said.

Featured Image: Redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Wiliams trots into the endzone for his first rushing touchdown of his career on Saturday. Williams put the Mean Green on the board within the first 90 seconds of the game. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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