TAMPA — Jefferson quarterback Quentin Williams can dodge a tackler with a swivel of his hips, fling a 50-yard touchdown pass with a flick of his right wrist.
The Dragons senior makes it look easy on the football field, but ask Williams about his assault on the state record books, and all sense of comfort vanishes.
Jefferson (11-0) hosts Pasco (11-0) in Friday’s Class 3A region semifinals, and with Williams’ next touchdown pass — his 101st — he will become the state’s record holder for career touchdown passes.
With 47 touchdown throws this season, he’s also four from the Hillsborough County single-season TD pass record owned by Plant’s Aaron Murray (51).
And Williams is just 426 yards away from Tim Tebow’s state career passing yardage mark.
But when asked about being on the brink of becoming the most prolific passer in state history, Williams shifts nervously.
“I never really thought about it like that, I just play for my boys,” said Williams, beginning to rattle off a laundry list of his teammates. “I don’t worry about any records. I play for them. I’m doing my thing for them. We’ve got one goal, and that’s winning state. We want that ring.”
Williams has tried to keep his focus on the greater task, leading the Dragons to their first state title. But there is talk all around about his personal quest, from his teammates placing pictures of him and Tim Tebow on Facebook to kids recognizing him last weekend when he went to watch his future college team, Bethune-Cookman, play in the Florida Classic.
“He seems to me like he does get a little shy when you talk to him about that kind of stuff,” Jefferson coach Mike Fenton said. “He’d rather talk about how they’re gonna win the next week, which I guess is a good quality. He’s always been like that. He’s very level headed. He’s always on the same keel.
“I think he handles it great. Of course it’s a great honor. It’s something he can keep with him the rest of his life, but his major concern is winning every week. He’s not concerned about it.”
Williams remained fixed on the postseason and not touchdown passes. Since the postseason began, he said he watches the Times’ Friday Night Rewind video from Jefferson’s state semifinal loss at Pensacola before he goes to sleep every night.
“I switched it up a bit,” Williams said. “Other than that, everything else is the same.”
But Williams said he will truly relax once the record book talk is over.
“I can’t wait until it’s over,” he said. “Even my momma talks about it all the time. It’s all good. It’s fine. But I want to get it over with, just because you hear about it all the time.”
State TD passes leaders (career)
Quentin Williams, Jefferson: 100
Will Indianos, Gainesville Oak Hall: 100
John Brantley, Ocala Trinity Catholic: 99
Tim Tebow, Ponte Vedra Beach Nease: 98
Xavier Lee, Daytona Beach Seabreeze: 98
State passing yardage leaders (career)
Tim Tebow, Ponte Vedra Beach Nease: 9,922
Will Indianos, Gainesville Oak Hall: 9,533
Quentin Williams, Jefferson: 9,496
Xavier Lee, Daytona Beach Seabreeze: 9,083