Monday, July 1, 2013
No comparisons to PSU for DT White
By Jared Shanker
Those around Antoine White (Millville, N.J./Millville) would like to see him take a few more of his planned visits. They want to make sure the three-star defensive tackle explores all his options before a planned decision in the fall.
Following a Saturday visit to Penn State, though, White’s timetable moved up about three months. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound lineman committed to the Nittany Lions on Monday.
“I’ve been on other visits and to other colleges, but when you go on [Penn State’s] campus, you get a certain feel,” White said. “If I go visit four other places, I’m going to say, ‘Does this compare to Penn State?’ And while I’m doing that, another defensive tackle could call in and commit and the position could be filled and I lose out on the college I want to go to.”
On the way home from his trip Saturday, White talked with his parents about committing and becoming the 13th member of Penn State’s 19th-ranked class. He knew Penn State was going to be his future home -- he just wanted to let his high school coach and the other schools know first. He has visits set for July that he needed to cancel before the staffs expecting to host him found out on the Internet that he would no longer be coming.
White has made several visits already, so he was used to the usual pitches from coaches about why their school is the best fit for him. White, the 69th-ranked tackle in the country, felt some coaches were just giving him a line they give all of their recruits -- some that rank higher than himself on their recruiting board.
It was a different feel at Penn State. It was his third visit, and he spent much of the day with area recruiter Ron Vanderlinden and had an hour-long, sit-down conversation with defensive line coach Larry Johnson and head coach Bill O’Brien.
“[O’Brien] sounds like a real genuine guy. He didn’t try to pitch anything. He’s not a car salesman,” White said. “He’s very straightforward. That’s the person I want to have. He told me about my good intangibles and then what I need to work on. He tells it like it is and that’s what I appreciate. Some people don’t like it, but I do.”
The NCAA sanctions are not much of a concern for White following his talk with O’Brien, who explained White could be playing in a bowl game by his sophomore season. But White was never really concerned with the sanctions at Penn State. He believes the program is headed in the right direction under not just O’Brien but the assistants, all the way down to the strength coach and academic staff.
The prospect of getting a criminal justice degree from Penn State played a big role in his commitment as well.
“As soon as you graduate, whether you go to the league or [the workforce], your job opportunities are ridiculous,” White said. “We talked academics for an hour with the academic liaison. The support team they have via tutoring and their academic staff is unbelievable.”
In all, White said he had “doesn’t have any negatives” about Penn State and his visit, which is why he will not be taking any more of them.