Callahan takes over as Tribe QB

For the second straight season, the College of William & Mary’s football team will have a fifth-year senior starting at quarterback. And just like last year’s starter, R.J. Archer ’10, Mike Callahan will be a starter for the first time in his career.

Coach Jimmye Laycock made the announcement on Monday, Aug. 30. The Tribe, ranked fourth nationally in the FCS coaches’ preseason poll, opens the season Saturday at the University of Massachusetts.

“He’s experienced,” Laycock explained. “He understands our offense, and he’s made very good decisions when we’ve put him in situations … I’ve been very pleased with the quarterback situation throughout (preseason).”

Behind Callahan, who has already finished his degree work in Business, will be transfer Mike Paulus or redshirt freshman Brent Caprio.

“Right now it would depend on the situation,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in both.”

When Callahan takes the field Saturday, it will be for the first time in his college career. He was competing for backup duty behind Archer last preseason when he tore ligaments in his knee during a late-summer scrimmage. It shelved him for the season.

“I had been working for four years to get to that point,” he said. “But that injury pretty much took me from the top all the way to the bottom. What I had literally shuts down every muscle in your leg. You have to get surgery, rehab and start from the bottom.”

Callahan, a native of Mountville, PA, -- near Lancaster – was a two-year letter-winner at Hempfield High School, where he compiled a 19-4 record as a starter. He still holds school records for career passing yards (4,159) and touchdown passes (44).

“Mike has certainly earned it,” Laycock said, “but this is not a process of elimination. It’s going to be a situation where we see how things progress. None of these guys have played in a ballgame, so we’ll see how they do Saturday in a game.”

Callahan looked sharp and in command of the team’s attack during preseason.  He will be counted on to use his in-depth knowledge of the team’s offense to make good decisions
and execute the gameplan.

While his experience and leadership are his top weapons, he has displayed a strong and accurate arm in fall scrimmages. He has also been decisive extending plays outside of the pocket, finding outlet receivers and remaining accurate while on the move.