North Webster running back/linebacker Devin White has become somewhat of a national phenomenon by unabashedly plowing over defenders and into opposing ball carriers.
However, grounded by his mother and grandmother, the church-going 6-foot, 258-pounder has taken a much less reckless approach off the field.
While playing on Saturdays, and ultimately Sundays would fulfill a dream, White isn’t itching to leave the time of prom dances and pep rallies.
Despite receiving 40 scholarship offers, the senior hasn’t even narrowed his “official” five finalists.
“I haven’t been in a rush because I love high school,” White said. “This is fun. The next level is business. I want to stay here forever.”
The Times’ reigning Best of Preps Area Football Player of the Year rattled off a list of LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Florida State and Auburn as “leaders in the clubhouse,” but will wait until National Signing Day (Feb. 3) to declare his intentions.
“They are all great programs, but you can only pick one at the end of the day,” said White, who totaled 2,287 yards and 30 touchdowns on 270 carries last season. He added five receiving touchdowns and 260 yards on nine catches.
This season has been no different for the 4-star recruit ranked No. 88 in the nation by 247 Sports. In two games, White has 215 rushing yards on 30 attempts with four touchdowns. He also had an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as the Knights traveled to Haynesville and upset the two-time defending state champion Golden Tornado.
White is the No. 6 (athlete) recruit in the nation and No. 7 overall recruit in Louisiana.
In his postgame interview at Haynesville, White pointed to the visitors’ bleachers as a source for inspiration.
“Look at all those fans, I love them,” White said, as the near-capacity Knights crowd departed.
North Webster is a hybrid school; created with the 2011 consolidation of the former Springhill, Sarepta, Cotton Valley and Shongaloo high schools.
“We’re four communities, but we’re really one,” White said.
Growing up in North Louisiana, White has seen friends and other locals waste opportunities to use sports as a vehicle to get away. Others’ transgressions have made White vow not to make the same mistake.
“Not too many players from where I come get to do this,” he said. “They either messed up or they get caught up in something around town.”
White’s not afraid to admit his guidance comes from home.
“I’m staying grounded – my mother and my grandmother keep me in church – so it’s really fun when you can just take your time,” White said.
White will be one of 90 players to participate in the Jan. 2 Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2016 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game will visit Springhill on Wednesday morning to formally present No. 40 with an honorary game jersey commemorating his selection to the game set to be televised on ESPN2.
“He’s turned into a phenomenal leader. It’s been phenomenal to watch him grow up,” North Webster head football coach John Ware said. “He’s changed over the years and so have I. He’s helped me change and I’d like to think I’ve helped him a little bit. His demeanor and his leadership since he’s become a senior – I can’t say enough about it.”
The Knights enter uncharted territory when they host Minden on Friday. The 2-0 start has helped North Webster earn the No. 1 ranking in Class 3A for the first time in school history.
“It’s a great time (to be a Knight),” White said. “We’ve been waiting on this.”