A regular stop for college coaches during the spring and the fall is the practice fields of Larry Dauterive, the head football coach at East St. John in Reserve, La. Recently, those fields have produced Texas A&M freshman starter Patrick Lewis, Tulsa signee Alex Singleton and 2010 Tulsa signee Kalen Henderson. The class of 2011 once again has some unique talent at East St. John and college coaches are once again taking notice.
Though there are a lot of talented players on the field at East St. John, there really is only one position battle that you need to watch if you want to see the best that the program has to offer and that is the daily battle that goes on between wide receiver Dhaquille Williams and cornerback Floyd Raven.
Physically the two are both unique. Raven stands at 6-foot-2 and around 180 pounds. Williams is closer to 6-foot-3 and a strong 195 pounds. As a junior Williams amassed 1,027 yards receiving on 39 catches, averaging over 26 yards per catch and reeling in 17 touchdowns. As impressive as those numbers are though, Raven has been the hot recruit of late.
"He's become kind of a hot commodity with the word of mouth from the coaches," Dauterive said of Raven. "Last year was his first year playing football and he came in from Destrehan never having played before. I had to play him at linebacker and safety up close to the line of scrimmage. I'm going to put him at cover corner this year. Coaches are just enamored with the way he moves and the way he covers."
Currently, Raven holds offers from Tulsa, Memphis, Arizona, SMU, Louisiana-Lafayette and the Ole Miss Rebels are also close. The interest began last season for Raven.
"He's a project," said Dauterive. "You gotta take a chance on him. He's got tremendous hips. When (Tulsa Head Coach) Todd Graham came here for my quarterback's home visit [Kalen Henderson], and he was watching that kid, watching him work. He offered him right there on the field and then gave him his official offer."
Raven's offer list will likely continue to grow as he continues to move towards his incredibly high ceiling. As talented as he is though, his teammate may have even more upside. Among the players that Larry Dauterive has had under his watch, Ryan Perriloux, the nation's top rated quarterback in the 2005 class may be the most talented. Dauterive puts Williams in that category.
"I've been doing this for 44 years and Perriloux is the best I've ever coached but this guy is right there with him," he said of Williams.
Dauterive isn't the only one that holds Williams in high regard. LSU coach Ron Cooper has had a chance to see Williams play and according to Dauterive talks about him as one of the top receiving talents that he has seen in coaching.
Not only does Cooper know about Williams but so does his prized 2010 cornerback signee Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu is one of the top athletes in the state and one of the top corners in the country but when he attempted to cover Williams on a Friday night, the big receiver reeled in five catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
"He came to me before his junior year as a 6-3, 195 pound kid at 17 who's never been on the weights," said Dauterive. "What he can do is separate and he can jump. He's got a vertical that's out of sight. He deep snaps and he never even played football until last year."
Earning first team all-state in his first year playing the sport speaks volumes to the talent that Williams possesses but still very few people have heard of him. The reason is that due to spending two years in high school at a non-accredited school, Williams has virtually no chance of qualifying out of high school. That still hasn't stopped coaches from filing in though with offers to sign him and place him in junior college in January.
One of those schools that have that plan in place is LSU. This weekend both Williams and Raven will be at LSU for a visit. The following weekend they have plans of camping at Ole Miss. After battling it out on the practice field all fall and spring, summer camps should be a breeze for both until they have to face each other.