- Associated Press - Sunday, January 4, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - For three years, teammates of Warren Easton senior quarterback Deshawn Capers-Smith have referred affectionately to their offensive linchpin as “Lefty Football.”

It’s a malapropism, given that Capers-Smith is right-handed. The evolution from Capers-Smith’s original nickname of “Little Lefty” was inspired by the “Johnny Football” Manziel mania that surrounded Texas A&M;’s 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.

Capers-Smith now has a new official moniker.

Meet Louisiana’s Mr. Football.

The senior is the 20th recipient of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Mr. Football award as chosen by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association to recognize the state’s outstanding player.

Capers-Smith earned the award after being chosen as the Outstanding Offensive Player on the Class 4A All-State team. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior accounted for more than three miles of yardage and 400 points with his passing and running.

Capers-Smith is the second consecutive New Orleans area player and sixth overall to win the award created in 1995 by the LSWA, succeeding St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette.

“Deshawn was our leader,” Easton Coach Tony Hull said. “He was captain of the ship. He made sure that he was prepared for every situation possible that he may face in a game, which in turn made our team prepared this season.”

With Capers-Smith leading the way, Easton went 12-3 in advancing to its first state finals since 1958 while establishing a single-season school record for victories and winning its first district championship since 2001.

Capers-Smith produced one of the most productive offensive seasons in state history by totaling 5,651 rushing/passing yards and 71 touchdowns while being intercepted just twice, one year after spending much of the 2013 season playing defensive back and wide receiver.

The prologue to Capers-Smith’s dazzling breakout came just prior to last year’s state playoffs when he was inserted into the starting lineup at quarterback after playing virtually all of the regular season at cornerback and wide receiver. Capers-Smith then proceeded to direct the Eagles to the Class 4A state quarterfinals.

As a senior, Capers-Smith averaged nearly a first down, 9.7 yards, for each time he passed or ran the ball in completing 235 of 371 passes (63.3 percent) for 4,333 yards and 50 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 1,318 yards and 21 touchdowns on 210 carries.

Capers-Smith, whose father was known as “Lefty,” said he did not concern himself with his individual numbers until season’s end.

“I didn’t want people to think that I would have a big head,” Capers-Smith said.

This season, he said, was testament to “just hard work paying off.” Rather than attend countless summer football camps, Capers-Smith opted to prepare for 2014 by diligently studying video with his coaches and working out with his teammates, particularly the receivers.

“To do what we did for this community and our school, to be 56 years since playing (for a state championship) and to be playing in the Superdome for the first time, you could tell that we really worked hard for it,” Capers-Smith said.

Still a Texas A&M; commitment as a cornerback, Capers-Smith now is exploring potential options to pursue a college career as a dual threat quarterback. Hull said Capers-Smith is capable of f

Ohio State, Tennessee, Oregon and Ole Miss have expressed interest in Capers-Smith as a quarterback, Hull said.

Hull said Capers-Smith is set on playing defensive back at A&M;, but added that the senior will listen to those who are considering him for quarterback. “But it has to be the right fit. It can’t just be so he can play quarterback.

“And it can’t be a school that has offered him as a DB and now all of a sudden wants to offer him at quarterback. So it has to be the right opportunity. It has to be on the right stage. It has to be on the same stage as an A&M.; Other than that he’s committed to A&M; as a DB.”

Capers-Smith was named Easton’s Outstanding Player in the championship game - a 28-27 loss to Neville - after accounting for 355 of Easton’s 388 yards while completing 29 of 41 passes for 292 yards, three touchdowns and a two-point conversion.

“I told him, ‘Son, you didn’t lose the game for us.’ That was a team effort,” Hull said. “That’s just the type of person he is. He put this team on his back. He did a great job and I think he had a phenomenal season. I think every (honor) that he gets he deserves.”



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