Corey White’s life on the gridiron wasn’t one he had long prepped for.
While most high school football players find their rise through the peewee ranks, White spent all his time with a basketball in hand.
“I was a gym rat,” he laughed. “I love the game, so I was always working on it. It’s what I thought I would do forever."
Then White grew to 6-foot-4 and weighed over 300 pounds, the perfect body for Capitol High head football coach Chadwick Germany’s offensive line. Before the start of ninth grade, White made the switch from traveling to AAU tournaments to riding up the block with Germany for summer football camps at LSU.
“He put a lot of work into getting better on the field, and each year it showed,” Germany said.
Yet, never did the drive and determination show more than this summer.
A three-year starter at left tackle, White didn’t need to earn his keep at Capitol. But every day, White was one of the first in and last to leave.
Shed weight off his 300-pound frame. While it wasn’t a major hindrance at the high school level, competing through an SEC camp – and season – would require White to be in the best shape of his life.
“We gave verbal and nonverbal cues that the weight had to get down,” Germany said. “One day he just made his mind up to improve himself in a major way, and he’s been very conscious of everything he does since then. He’s serious about this development.
“Corey was involved in a minor accident over the summer and he missed about two or three weeks of working out, but it never slowed him down. Right when the doctor cleared him he was in the weight room moving around and trying to get on track.”
With just a game left on Capitol’s (5-5) schedule, White is closing in on the end goal.
“I’m down to 280 pounds, and I can say that I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life,” said White, who plays exclusively at tackle and occasionally lines up at fullback on goalline situations. “I am moving around a lot faster and can go longer without wearing out. My feet are much quicker, and that’s probably the biggest benefit.
“(LSU offensive line) Coach (Greg) Studrawa has come over to see me play, and so has (recruiting coordinator) coach Frank (Wilson), and both of them said I look better than ever. They both were happy that I am already getting into this kind of shape because it’s going to pay off for me when I get there next summer.”
A Baton Rouge native, White hasn’t had trouble keeping familiar with the LSU staff and players this fall. He’s been to every home game, and he plans to be back in Death Valley when the Tigers host Alabama this weekend.
“That one’s going to be crazy,” White said. “There will be tons of recruits there and the fans are going to be going wild with Alabama on the other side. I know nobody wants to miss it.”