Monday, June 24, 2013
DT White high on PSU following offer
By Josh Moyer
Penn State's staff spoke to defensive tackle Antoine White (Millville, N.J./Millville) on Wednesday and asked if he could make the 250-mile drive to Happy Valley on Saturday. Despite the short notice and the fact he hadn't attended any other camps, White said he'd try.
So he first asked his parents. They were busy. Then he tried convincing two of his coaches and at least one friend. That was also a no-go.
Linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden followed up with Millville's coach a day or two later -- only to find out that, no, White wouldn't be coming. But he had exhausted just about every route to attend the camp that he could.
"I tried everybody, and he said that's the thing that really impressed them," White said. "I'm not one of those guys where Penn State invited and it's like, 'OK, what's next?' The fact I'm serious about it was something they really liked."
Vanderlinden spoke with White again on Saturday night, hours after PSU's camp ended and the 90-degree weather in Happy Valley began to subside. He told the three-star lineman that they wanted him to work with assistant coach Larry Johnson for a day -- but there was no point in dragging out the recruiting process.
The staff wanted White to be a Nittany Lion. So Vanderlinden extended him a scholarship offer over the phone.
"Honestly, I thought I was going to have to go to a camp to perform," White said. "The fact they offered without that was a little surprising, but I also kind of knew that was coming. Coach was really on me to make it down, so I wasn't going to be too surprised. It's still definitely humbling to know Penn State wants you."
White -- who holds 14 offers -- already counts PSU as one of his top options. Although he doesn't boast a traditional top five or six, he said his favorite schools right now include North Carolina, Michigan State, Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Maryland and PSU.
He's also reaching out to Notre Dame in hopes to set up a future camp date or visit. And he's received a lot of attention from Tennessee and Miami (Fla.). Still, he added, Penn State is in good shape with him.
"They're definitely high on my list because Penn State's always just been a school I've been interested in," White said. "I know players, like Austin Johnson, have told me great things about the school. And Coach Johnson, he's a guy that when he talks, it's just like, 'Give me more, Coach. Give me more.' Coach Vanderlinden as well. They're definitely going to stay high on my list."
The future criminal justice major felt that PSU offered now for a few reasons. The staff told White it was initially concerned he couldn't reach 300 pounds and wondered if he would be right for the three-technique. When he increased his weight to 268 pounds and posted a Facebook video in which he power-cleaned 285 pounds, PSU's coaches took notice.
Johnson continued to write to him on Facebook about every other week, and PSU twice visited him during the evaluation period.
He doesn't have any immediate plans to visit anywhere, but he hopes to drop by Penn State sometime in August. He wants to take all his official visits, but he said he also just plans to commit whenever it feels right.
"My parents say that if I want to commit tomorrow, that's fine," he said. "They just want me to be able to stick to my word. They want me to shut the recruiting process down then. So if I commit to a school -- Penn State or Maryland or whoever -- and Notre Dame calls the next day, I can tell them I'm already committed and I'm staying put.
"So, basically, I'm just going to take some visits and go to schools like Penn State and take it from there."