He has his dad’s same name – Chatarius Atwell.
And his same nickname – "Tutu."
But as good as the elder Atwell was as a wide receiver at Miami High and later at the University of Minnesota his son continues to thrive as a dual-threat quarterback in his fourth season at the helm of the Miami Northwestern offense.
Atwell, a senior who first became the Bulls starter during his freshman season, threw a pair of touchdown passes on Friday night and totaled a combined 227 yards passing and rushing to lead Northwestern to a 24-7 win over Columbus at Traz Powell Stadium.
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Atwell ran for 101 yards on 11 attempts and completed 7 of 10 attempts for 126 yards. He also ran for a two-point conversion and completed a pass to Justin Hill for the other.
Atwell is flourishing this season according to Northwestern coach Max Edwards who said it is the first time his quarterback is running the same offense in back-to-back seasons during his career.
"He understands the system better and he’s really showing his leadership," Edwards said. "It’s huge because right now it’s letting him be the leader of the team by learning what checks he can go to and where he can go to against certain defenses."
Atwell, who at 5-8 and roughly 155 pounds is projected to play primarily the same position his father did and possibly return kicks in college, recently committed to the University of Louisville.
But Atwell, rated the No. 150 athlete in the nation by 247Sports, could see some time at quarterback possibly in Wildcat situations as the Cardinals would likely want to utilize his athleticism and blazing speed.
If Atwell lines up at quarterback for Louisville, he’d be the second from Northwestern to do so in recent years following in the footsteps of Teddy Bridgewater.
The only thing missing for Atwell before he departs high school is what the Bulls have been without for a decade – a state championship.
That could change this season.
"We want this real bad because last year we fell short," Atwell said. "But as you can see this team has been working very hard and it’s clicking right now. Wins like this give us confidence."
The soft-spoken Atwell isn’t one to say a lot on or off the field according to Edwards.
But he’s earned the respect of his teammates and has emerged as a confident leader especially during a junior season in which he led Northwestern to a district title and its first playoff win since 2012.
After losing in the regional semifinals last season to eventual state champion and district rival Carol City, Atwell could be the catalyst that puts the Bulls over the top in a tough Class 6A race this season.
"He’s a quiet leader, but when times get tough he will let everybody know that he’s got them," Edwards said. "He doesn’t point fingers at anybody. If someone fumbles, misses a block or drops a ball, he just comes back to the huddle and gets ready to make the next play."
-The Bulls (2-0), ranked No. 3 in the Miami Herald’s South Florida Top 20 poll, prevailed after the game was halted with 40 seconds left in the third quarter and Northwestern ready to line up on first and goal from the Columbus 6-yard line when lightning was detected in the area of the stadium.
Since the contest was a non-district game, both schools agreed to declare it an official result.
-Corey Hammett rushed for an 11-yard touchdown and caught a screen pass and ran 24 yards to the end zone as the Bulls pulled away with 24 unanswered points in the first half.
-Columbus quarterback Anthony Arguelles is a pitcher on the Explorers’ baseball team and the younger brother of Andy Arguelles, who led Columbus to a state title as their ace on the mound in 2015.
-Arguelles, who completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Henry Parrish, Jr., is being coached this season by former Explorers’ quarterback Tucker Beirne – a former three-year starter. Beirne led Columbus to the state finals in 2014.