Delante White Likes Illini's D. C. Pipeline

The University of Illinois has had great success recruiting in the Maryland and Washington D.C. area. From Arrelious Benn and Vontae Davis to Will Davis and Tavon Wilson, Illinois has established a pipeline to the mid-Atlantic. Once again, Ron Zook and his staff have targeted a talented Maryland prospect in Delante White.

Maryland's Crossland High School didn't have a successful season on the field, but the first season under new coach Eric Knight was spent getting to know the coach and his philosophy. Coach Knight won two state titles at Potomac High School in the past 4 years, while Crossland has had only one winning season in the past 3 years.

"We have a whole new coaching staff," explains Delante White. "Coach Knight has sent a lot of players to the NFL. This was his first year at our school. We went 2-8 this past season. We have a lot of team players, but we were just getting used to the offense. We have 10 starters returning and we have a new quarterback coming in from North Carolina."

Delante played a variety of positions on both sides of the ball. He has been on the varsity since his freshman year, when he was the only freshman on the team. He had 61 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries his first year. Delante was named captain as both a sophomore and a junior.

"I played wide receiver and corner back mostly, but I also was a punt returner and safety at times. The best part of my game is my technique, my route running, and my speed. On defense, I'm a really good cover guy. I need to work on the physical aspect of the game for college. In high school, I'm more than physical enough and can always get open. I'm getting my mind focused on college and I want to make sure that I keep my upper body tight and strong and my calves strong too. I bench 270."

When colleges come looking at Delante, they are mostly looking at him for the offensive side of the ball.

"They mostly look at me as a wide receiver, but they also do look at my corner tapes. Mainly though it's been my receiver tapes and my route running. I don't have a preference when it comes to what position I'll play in college. I'll play the position that gets me a scholarship."

The 6'-0", 180 pound athlete has a growing list of impressive schools interested in him.

"William and Mary, Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, and Illinois have sent me mail and been in touch. I'm looking for whichever school fits me best and has a good technology department. I'm focusing on the academics as much as the football."

Although he lives in Maryland, Delante grew up a fan of a school in the Big 10.

"I grew up cheering for Michigan. I love Michigan's receivers and their style of play and colors. Really, I love everything about Michigan. I don't mind Maryland. I'll always like the home state team."

So far, the spring has been good to Delante.

"I took a junior day visit to William and Mary. I had one scheduled for Connecticut, but now I'm going to the Foxsports combine. I also went to the All-American Combine and went to a combine in California."

As for Illinois, Delante is looking forward to learning more about the school.

"I get mail from Illinois. I haven't set up a time with the Illinois coaches to call yet, but I'm planning on it."

When Mike Locksley left the Illinois program to take the head coaching job at New Mexico, many people thought that Illinois' recruiting would suffer in the Maryland and Washington D.C. area. Delante doesn't think so.

"I think they'll still be able to recruit well. People out here love Illinois. They give Illinois much respect. It doesn't really matter about the coaching staff because they love Illinois. They know Illinois will give us a shot to show what we got no matter what.

"They judge us just based on our talent. The people out here know Illinois is going to let us show what we got on the field. They know Illinois is always going to be there when you need them. That's what most of the people out here say. Everybody talks about Illinois. It's a school you got to go to."

Does Delante agree with those thoughts?

"I think the same."

Delante is an honor roll student. He will be taking the ACT in April and the SAT on May 2nd.

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