Despite multiple run-ins with police over the past two months, one of which led to his dismissal from last week’s Under Armour All-America Game, Devin White’s recruitment remained on track. The North Webster (Springhill, La.) senior selected LSU from a list of heavy-hitting college suitors on Friday afternoon.
The 6-foot-1, 258-pound running back and linebacker chose the Tigers over Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State and Ole Miss during a press conference and rally at his school.
As soon as he announced for LSU and his parents and supporters removed jackets to show LSU jerseys and sweatshirts, the school band began to play. He then signed his letter of intent.
“Throughout the whole process I think they recruited me the best,” White told reporters afterward. “It was a family and I felt the family vibe every time I went down there, especially the last time because I was leaning towards some other schools.”
Charged on Nov. 20 with having “carnal knowledge” of a 14-year-old girl, according to The Shreveport Times, White was barred from the Under Armour All-America Game. He admitted to “trying” to have consensual sex with the juvenile, Springhill police chief Will Lynd told the media. Louisiana law requires a four-year age difference for a felony charge, so White, 17, was charged with a misdemeanor. North Webster teammate Ke’Untra Gipson was arrested on the same charges, according to media reports.
A month later, White was ticketed for “careless operation of a motor vehicle and misdemeanor flight from an officer,” according to KTBS-TV. After receiving a speeding ticket on Christmas Day, White did not immediately pull over when Cullen (La.) police attempted to stop him for speeding again later in the day, leading to the additional charges, the Shreveport-based television news station reported.
Following the first of his misdemeanor charges, colleges continued to “heavily recruit” White, Rivals.com Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Howell told The Shreveport Times in November.
White thanked all the coaches recruiting him for never backing off amidst the allegations “because they knew what type of person I was.”
White rushed for 1,650 yards and 31 touchdowns for the Knights (9-3) this past season. He and Gipson were arrested on the morning of their second-round playoff game against Amite (La.). Both players still played in the game, a 45-42 loss, despite 260 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns from White.
While White’s choice of collegiate destinations may now by certain, his future most certainly is not, as the Springhill police chief told The Shreveport Times that the teen’s sex-related charge will go to court.
His mom, Coesha Standokes wanted her first child to stay and enjoy his last year of high school, but they eventually came to a compromise in what White termed “a business decision.” He’ll work out and play football with the Tigers this semester, then return to Springhill in May to walk across the stage and receive his diploma with the rest of his North Webster classmates.
“It hurt me to see her hurt from something that I did that I know I can do better,” White said in reference to the off-the-field issues. “So anything she wants, I’m going to do it just to make her happy.”
Contributing: Luke Thompson, Shreveport Times