GARY — According to Lew Wallace coach Al Williams, defensive back Darius Mahome is the type of player you want to be around on and off the field.

Unless, of course, you happen to be an opposing quarterback.

“He’s an incredible young man, very respectful, and has good grades,” Williams said. “I can’t say enough about him. He’s a very bright young man.”

One piece of advice for those opposing QBs: be smart and don’t throw to his side of the field. No other area defense back frustrated opposing quarterbacks more than Mahome, who had eight interceptions last season.

“My coaches motivated me and told me to look at film,” Mahome said. “After I got my first one I became addicted to getting interceptions. I loved it.”

And no doubt Williams loves having Mahome return this season in hopes of turning around last year’s 2-6 record.

“We had some ups and downs last season but right now I’m pretty confident we will make a strong effort to have a big comeback for Gary Wallace,” Mahome said.

Comebacks in the classroom won’t be a problem for Mahome, who sports a 2.8 GPA. The secret to his success: stay humble, stay grounded.

“And always be ready to work harder and grind it out,” Mahome said.

So as Wallace tries to improve on last year’s record, one thing Williams won’t have to worry about is one of his top defensive backs who also had a good track season last year.

“He’s a very talented young man,” Williams said. “I wish all my players could be that way.”