Mullins an All-Purpose threat for Devils
By Kris Freeman for The White House Connection
WHITE HOUSE – The most versatile player on any field this fall will be wearing jersey number five for the White House Blue Devils.
In addition to catching passes, returning kicks, playing the secondary and making tackles, senior Josh Mullins may run the chains, handle public address announcing and sell concessions. The reigning District 9-AA Defensive Back of the Year will attempt to propel White House into the Class 4-A quarterfinals for the fifth straight year.
“He’s not a vocal leader, but he sets the example on the field and it’s like having another coach out there,” said Blue Devils defensive coordinator Chad Broadrick, who was also a versatile defensive back and split end before graduating in 2004. “He’s definitely a player which can help us in many places.”
Mullins led White House with 18 catches for 230 yards and two touchdowns in 2013, and added three rushes for 75 yards including a 59-yard dash for a touchdown. He returned every single punt, four times for 77 yards and nine kicks for 270 yards and a touchdown.
The 85-yard kick return makes him a viable weapon in every phase of the game.
“He’s returned enough kicks now that people know his capabilities, and they may kick it away from him, which is a weapon in itself,” said White House offensive coordinator Ryan Hamilton. “But we also had 14 guys return kicks last year, so there’s a number of young guys including his brother Brian who have experience.
Mullins was eighth on the team in tackles with 49, but lining up at left corner, he swatted away 14 potential pass receptions and intercepted three more. His ability to affect the passing game is critical as he is the only returning starter in the secondary. Safety Denis Schaffer, a junior, moves to linebacker in 2014.
The same can be said for offense, where he can move to any spot outside the line of scrimmage and provide a credible threat as a reverse option in the backfield.
“He knows the system, and we can put him in any position, X, H, Z, it doesn’t matter,” Hamilton said. “It’s a big asset to our younger players and his ability to do the drills right, and with us having a new quarterback, it’s like us having a coach on the field at all times.”
Head coach Jeff Porter, entering his 28th season, has witnessed many of the same types of players be effective for the Blue Devils. Most recent was a standout All-State wide receiver in Trent McEwen two years ago, and safety/wideout Matthew Parker who played three full years until 2008.
“Everything he does is at full speed,” said Porter, “and you’re always going to get his best effort. He’s always going to do the right thing, be in the right spot and give the right effort. That’s the type of example we want to set on our football team.”
Mullins has 665 career special teams yards and 396 combined yards rushing and receiving, giving him 1,061 all-purpose gained in two years.