October 6, 1998
Down 17-13 in the third quarter against Wake Forest Saturday night, Appalachian State’s starting quarterback David Reaves went down with an ankle injury. With the momentum still swinging in Wake’s favor, it looked like the Deacs had a homecoming win at hand.
Enter the Jere-Messiah.
After holding the Deacons on their next possession, ASU Coach Jerry Moore made the decision to send out sophomore back-up QB Daniel Jeremiah, the Apps most unusual recruit of the off-season.
What Jeremiah did over the next 16 minutes of regulation and overtime proved why there might be a little bit of a quarterback controversy amongst these undefeated Apps.
Jeremiah led the team down the field on two fourth quarter scoring drives, the second of which ended with a third down and 16, 57-yard touchdown pass to Joey Gibson, which, after a two-point conversion pass to Daryl Skinner, made the score 24-17 ASU.
The El Cajun, Calif. native finished off his heroics by scoring the winning touchdown in overtime. For the game, he was 8-10 passing for 139 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 16 yards and, of course, one touchdown.
Not bad for a recruit that was never recruited.
Jeremiah, who started, as a freshman, at quarterback for Division I-A Northeast Louisiana last season and threw for 1,450 yards, ended up at Appalachian after an off-season visit to the area.
The Californian is the son of Dr. David Jeremiah of the national radio ministry Turning Point.
“My dad’s friends with somebody from Florida who has a summer home in Boone, pretty area, nice school, sent them a tape, bing bang boom, I’m going to school there,” said Jeremiah in his very “short version” of the transfer story.
Coming out of Christian High School in San Diego, Jeremiah was a hot recruit. He threw for 7,550 yards and 82 touchdowns and ran for another 1,500 yards and 21 touchdowns in high school. He was also named to the California All-State First Team twice.
After high school, Jeremiah was set to play for UCLA, but then the coaching staff changed and so did his mind.
He then decided to settle on Oklahoma, his second choice, but the same thing happened again.
Scurrying to find a school to play at, he opted for Pacific but then they dropped their football program.
So finally, he headed for N.E. Louisiana, the school that in recent years has produced NFL quarterbacks Stan Humphries and Bubby Brister.
But after two seasons in Louisiana, Jeremiah decided that he’d had enough of the bayou, so he went out in search of a school again.
Now, because of his love for this area and this school, Jeremiah finds himself in the unusual role of walk-on back-up on a team that already had a quarterback glut to begin with.
That doesn’t mean, however, that he thinks that he should be the starter. Jeremiah is firm in his belief that what’s best for the team is what’s best for him.
“As long as after next week either me or him is talking about being 5-0, I really don’t care who plays... I want to get a Southern Conference ring,” said Jeremiah.
Moore, who will have the tough job of deciding which quarterback will play and which one will hold the clipboard on the sideline, said after the game that “obviously one of the plusses for us is that we can come off the bench with a guy like Daniel Jeremiah... He’s got a great heart and he’s got a lot of experience.”
“I’ve been coaching for over 30 years, and I heard him make one of the premier statements that I’ve ever heard from a football player in my life... Daniel made the statement that if he made David Reaves a better quarterback, and if he made us a better team, that he’d done his job,” said Moore.
“Not very many guys make that kind of a statement,” Moore added.
Not very many quarterbacks are quite like Daniel Jeremiah.