NATCHITOCHES — Whether Southeastern Conference transfer Stephen Rivers or one of the five quarterbacks on campus this spring wins the Northwestern State starting job, the weapons cache got a little deeper this summer.
The Demons added receiver William Mafi II, who was selected to the All-American squad in the California Community College Football Coaches Association, of San Joaquin Delta College.
Mafi, who will have two seasons of eligibility after joining the Demons this summer, was Delta’s leading receiver as a freshman and sophomore.
The 6-foot-2 target, ranked as the No. 24 junior college receiver in the nation by Rivals.com writer Brad Hoiseth, caught 72 passes for 963 yards and six touchdowns in just nine games this past season.
“William is a very productive player, and he’ll bring needed size to the position,” said NSU coach Jay Thomas. “He’ll compete immediately for early playing time. He led all California junior colleges with eight catches per game as a sophomore.
“The best thing is that he’s a great character kid and is a really great fit for our program.”
The Stockton, California, native averaged 108 receiving yards per game and tallied four games over the 100-yard mark. Two breakout games included an 11-catch, 203-yard performance with a touchdown against Fresno City College. Mafi also recorded 169 yards and a touchdown against College of the Siskiyous.
As a freshman, Mafi collected 32 catches for 369 yards and a touchdown. The team MVP and team captain also ran track, clocking a 10.7 in the 100 meters. He leaves San Joaquin Delta with a 3.2 GPA and will major in criminal justice at NSU.
Mafi joins an NSU receiving corps that returns its top four pass catchers from this past season, but none of those returners are taller than 5-11.
The Demons coaching staff stumbled upon Mafi while recruiting the area, but NSU has had success scouring California junior colleges before.
Record-setting quarterback Zach Adkins came from Riverside City College, and receiver Bryant Mitchell (Southwestern Community College) provided Adkins a solid target. Offensive lineman Zach Schumann (Siskiyous) should also factor into the Demons’ rotation this season.
— Matt Vines, Northwestern State Sports Information