Bakersfield (Calif.) defensive back Lawrence White was pretty certain he knew what he wanted to do, and so after discussing with his mother Sunday night, he dialed into Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads on Monday morning.
Just minutes before attending his weekly news conference down the hall, Rhoads fielded the call from the 6-foot-2, 170-pound cornerback with offers from Washington State, Colorado State, and Nevada and with interest from Utah and others.
Two weeks after his official visit, White wanted to commit.
“You know Lawrence,” Rhoads told him, “if I could tell them at the press conference that you committed, I would.”
Rhoads told White he was excited and headed for his news conference.
“I’ve got to walk a thin line here as you all know...” Rhoads told the media when asked an unrelated recruiting question toward the end of his presser. “We’ve had one official visit weekend and just with news today, it was a very successful weekend that we’ve had from an official visit standpoint.”
White became Iowa State’s third commit stemming from the Sept. 12 visit day, joining defensive tackle Jamahl Johnson and safety Kendrec Grady. When Grady committed Thursday night, White began thinking about doing the same.
The night White returned to California from Iowa he admitted that had his mother been able to make the trip with him he likely would have sealed the deal. She talked with Rhoads on Thursday — as she had done many times since Iowa State offered in March — and White talked with her Sunday.
“I knew it was where I wanted to go, it was just I had to get my mom on the same page,” White said Monday before announcing his decision. “I really talked to her [Sunday] night about it, we had a really serious talk, and we both came to the conclusion that this is going to be the best fit for me and my family.
“She said, “Lawrence, as long as you’re happy, I’m happy.’ She was really excited.”
One reason was the evidence.
White hails from Ridgeview High School in Bakersfield, the same high school as Iowa State safety Kamari Cotton-Moya and freshman running back Sheldon Croney. He texts with Croney frequently, and his mother is aware of both players.
“My mom has known Kamari and Sheldon since they were little and just seeing what Iowa State has done for them and all the opportunities it has opened up for them really helped in showing it could do the same thing for me, if not better,” White said. “I talk to Sheldon pretty much every other day just touching base and asking him little things about school and what the daily life is like there.”
Iowa State sees the versatile White (he played quarterback as a junior) as a cornerback at the next level.
And finally, White knows where he’s headed.
“They try to set up the best way for you to be successful on and off the field,” White said. “That played a big part, because getting a degree is a big part of this decision and I feel like I trust them and they’re setting me up and leading me the right way to get that. It’s just a great environment out there, everybody is friendly and it’s really a college town and something a recruit wants to experience going into college.
"I just feel like it’s the best fit for me.”