It has been a whirlwind past 12 months for Ben Onett.
He left DeMatha one week before the start of the 2010-11 school year and transferred to Central Catholic High in Lawrence, Mass., splitting time as the Raiders’ starting quarterback.
Then Onett moved back to the Washington area in January and enrolled at St. John’s, where he is set to be the team’s quarterback this fall, giving the Cadets a strong passer for the first time in a decade.
Finally, he accepted a scholarship offer to play for Temple.
“I have no problem with it, moving has always been my choice,” Onett said Tuesday. “My parents have been very supportive.”
It started before high school, when Onett and his family moved from Plaistow, N.H., so that he could play football at DeMatha. But when it became clear that he would not be the Stags’ quarterback as a junior last season, it was time to call an audible. After going through preseason practice at DeMatha, Onett moved north to live with his mother – his parents had recently divorced – and enrolled at Central Catholic for the fall semester.
“I needed to get junior film and I wasn’t going to be playing my junior year there,” Onett said. “I transferred to play and get film up there. Then I had an opportunity to come back.
“My dad had been calling around to a lot of schools and he came across St. John’s and talked to Coach [Joe] Patterson.”
By January, Onett was living with his father back in the Washington area, though it meant giving up the basketball season.
“I wanted to come back, it’s completely different up north in football,” Onett said. “The competition is not as good and the bigger schools don’t go up recruiting much there. I knew if I had a chance to play in college, I had to go and play with the best players.”
Onett was preparing to drive to Buffalo on a recruiting visit when Temple wide receivers coach Zach Smith sent him a note on Facebook, asking him to come by campus.
“They ended up offering,” Onett said, who was impressed with Owls quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, who previously coached successful quarterbacks Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Chad Henne. “It was kind of a no-brainer for me.”
Think Onett might be motivated Friday when St. John’s scrimmages Gilman, where former DeMatha offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chris Baucia now holds the same positions?