Last fall D’haquille Williams, a wide receiver essentially unknown across the recruiting world, went for 21 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards of production for head coach Larry Dauterive and East St. John.
He earned first-team All-State honors in Class 5A, quite the feat given that it was the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Williams first year of high school football.
“He led the state as a 5A receiver and he had never even played organized ball,” Dauterive said. “That tells you right there what you need to know. Had he been in a weight program since he was a freshman, then the sky right now would be the limit. We’re trying to catch him up because he is behind, but it’s not athletically.”
Williams was previously enrolled at Liberty Christian Academy, which is not accredited by the state of Louisiana, meaning that all the work that Williams had put in before transferring to East St. John was for not.
“He got here with no credits towards graduating,” Dauterive said. “There was a point where he couldn’t pass the LEAP test, so now he’s working on getting his GED. He leaves in January and will play two seasons at Gulf Coast Community College. After that, I expect every college in the country to be after him.”
“All those coaches have come to me and said that they wanted D’haquille, and I know some programs are trying to sign and place him,” Dauterive said. “I know that’s what Les Miles is hoping to do. The LSU coaches have been really excited about him, and they’re hoping that everything works out in the classroom so that he can make the move to college.”
For Williams, playing down the road in Baton Rouge is a relatively new concept – but not one he is turned away from.
“I definitely like what LSU is all about, and playing in Louisiana in front of my people would be big time for me,” Williams said. “The coaches have been talking to me here and there about coming on. It seems like a great opportunity, I just have to stay on course with my schoolwork.
“I went over there with Floyd Raven for Family Day last month, and that showed me a lot about the coaches and school. I would see it as a good fit down the line.”
After his first year on the field turned out a trio of four-touchdown games – one against LSU cornerback signee Tyrann Mathieu and St. Augustine – there’s no doubts that the Tiger staff would love to see Williams put on purple and gold after his stay at Gulf Coast CC.
“He might be one of the best athletes in America, and coaches tell me all the time that he’s the best receiver they have ever seen,” said Dauterive, who coached the likes of former LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. “I always thought Ryan would be the best athlete I ever coached, but D’haquille is right there.
“Just the other day I had him punting, and with no form D’haquille was pushing the ball over 45 yards with ease,” he added. “He can throw, and he deep snaps for us and is always the first guy down the field to make the play. He’s just so electric. The best analogy I can give is that if there was a gym full of leapers and you had one ball, he would get it.”