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Three-sport star 'Bo' knows versatility

Northeast QB Daquan Bohannan, who also plays baseball and hoops, will suit up on defensive side of the ball for Football Classic.

Daquan Bohannan, a three-sport star, will play defensive back in the City All-Star Football Classic.
Daquan Bohannan, a three-sport star, will play defensive back in the City All-Star Football Classic.Read moreTED SILARY / DAILY NEWS STAFF

TO SEE DB next to Daquan Bohannan's name on the Public roster for the upcoming City All-Star Football Classic is to commence a head-scratching sequence.

OK, who gets blamed for this mistake? Which knucklehead typed in Bohannan's initials instead of his position?

After all, Bohannan, a 6-foot, 180-pound senior at Northeast High, last fall starred at quarterback, passing for 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns.

But when Public meets Non-Public May 18, 7 o'clock, at Northeast in the 39th annual game, "Bo" will try to prove he does know defensive back. Free safety, specifically.

"I did ask the coaches about that," Bohannan said Wednesday. "But they said I was picked for the team as a d-back and that's what I had to play.

"I played d-back maybe half the time last season. It would be great to play quarterback. I was looking forward to it . . . Ah, maybe it's a blessing."

Reason: The righthanded Bohannan is also a top-shelf pitcher/shortstop for the baseball Vikings and throwing one way to fire fastballs and another to whip pigskins far downfield might not be the best idea for someone who not long ago experienced shoulder twinges.

Twice recently, right after school, Bohannan hurled a complete game against Thomas Edison and four innings against Roxborough - he racked up an average of two strikeouts per frame - before heading to Simon Gratz for the dinnertime Pub football practices.

"I wasn't trying to tackle anyone with my right side," he said, smiling. "I was keeping everyone to my left. You're a little sore, sure. You live with it."

In an age when so many kids limit themselves to one sport, Bohannan is a classic throwback. He also started at wing guard for the basketball squad, averaging 10.8 points and draining a decent amount of treys.

Three varsity sports? In 2012-13? Is this kid sick?

(Actually, he was, slightly. He headed home shortly after an interview ended and missed the Vikings' indoor workout.)

"I love all three sports," Bohannan said. "I can't even name a favorite."

The session was being conducted outside, not far from the entrance to the gym. What if someone dropped Bohannan to the asphalt, pinned him down and said he could never rise again until picking one?

"Probably baseball," he said. "It's always been the dream of my mom and dad for their child to play baseball. They always wanted to play pro baseball; well, softball for my mom. I figure, 'Why shouldn't I do it? Try to carry out their legacy.' "

The former Nicole Hurley starred in softball and basketball at Simon Gratz ('91). Carl Bohannan drew attention for hoops and baseball at now-closed William Penn ('92), then did well in both at Salem, a Division II school in West Virginia.

"My father had a tryout with the Phillies," Daquan said. "He loves baseball and he coached me all the way up. He still does, really. He gives me tips and runs workouts for me and my friends with pro-style drills he learned back then."

Daquan pays it forward. He and his baseball co-star, Shahir Gates, also a pitcher/shortstop and football player, coach a baseball team of 15-year-olds called the Francisville A's. (The family lived in that area - lower North Philly, not far from St. Joseph's Prep - before heading to 12th and Chew.)

Daquan also guides the sporting endeavors of his 10-year-old sister, Aaliyah.

"Am I rough on her? Not as much as I want to be," he cracked. "She's still young. I try to coach her like my dad coached me, but I can't be too hard on her. She's a girl. She likes cheerleading. She does play basketball in a little rec-center league. Trying to get her to do more."

Bohannan's favorite baseball position is shortstop, in part because both parents played it.

The attraction goes much deeper, however.

"You have to move on every play and you're the captain of the infield," he said. "You have to let everybody know about each scenario. You just can't stand there quietly, like at other positions. You have to be on your toes for every pitch."

In college - the leaders are Kutztown and Shippensburg; baseball and/or football will be the sports - Bohannan plans to mirror his dad, now an advocate for troubled youth in a Philly elementary school, and major in criminal justice.

"I've been around my dad from a young age and I see how he is around people," Daquan said. "He's a great guy. Ask anybody. He does everything for everybody and he's not a selfish person at all. He just wants to help, and so do I."

During the practice, coach Sam Feldman mentioned that Bohannan doesn't always reveal his emotions.

Earlier, when asked what it's like to be a three-sport star, "Bo" had said that he prefers to deflect the attention, and that he never, ever brags.

"People will come up to me in the hallways and say they loved the game yesterday and how I did this and how I did that," he said. "I just say 'thanks' and go to my next class."

Definitely boastful, DB is not.