Butler High football coach Mike Newsome chooses his words carefully when he talks about sophomore quarterback Christian LeMay.
“He's physically got all the tools that you're looking for in a big-time quarterback,” Newsome said. “He's built well. He's got the height people want, and he's got a strong throwing arm. The thing I think that has to accumulate over time is him becoming a leader and mentally learning the game. Those are things any sophomore quarterback has got to build on.”
Duringthe summer, Newsome said LeMay, 6-foot-3 and nearly 200 pounds, was better than his last quarterback, Jacob Charest, at the same age. Charest ultimately developed into one of the top five passers in Mecklenburg County history and signed with Illinois.
Butler opened the season with a 49-7 win againstNorth Mecklenburg. LeMay threw a touchdown on his first pass. He completed his first seven passes to six receivers.
LeMay's father, Stacey, is a local pastor who once wasthe Florida Gators' team chaplain. Christian LeMay has learned the game from Gator quarterbacks like Chris Leak and Tim Tebow and has had a great start to his Mecklenburg career since transferring from Union County's Porter Ridge last spring.
But Newsome wants to protect his young quarterback – who was MVP of summer camps at Florida and Michigan – from too much attention too soon.
So far, LeMay has completed 27 of 59 pass attemptsfor 396 yards and four touchdowns. He hasn't thrown as much as Newsome may have liked because Butler has outscored teams 180-46 heading into Friday's home game with Providence.
“I think he'll continue to get better,” Newsome said. “He gets better each week. I took him up to the (North) Carolina-Virginia Tech game and the (North Carolina coaches) were impressed with the way he looks. If he finishes the season strong, and we get the tapes out to colleges, it'll really get jumping for him.”