LSU Citrus Bowl Press Conference (Photo by James Bryant)

LSU defensive back Tre'Davious White one of the best to speak on Leonard Fournette's decision

When Leonard Fournette decided to forgo his eligibility and skip the Citrus Bowl to prepare for the NFL Draft, it was met with a few eyebrows being raised. LSU defensive back Tre'Davious White spoke on some of the factors that go into making a decision like Fournette had to make. He faced a similar decision a year ago.

LSU new Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron has focused on bringing this Tiger football team together. 

Together after a dismal loss to Wisconsin in the season opener, together after the devastating conference loss to Auburn which finally led to the dismal of Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. 

Coach Orgeron’s goal for the team in his attempts to bring it back together during a coaching transition was easy, “One team, One hearbeat!” 

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He made it about the team first and foremost, not about him or the uncertainty that loomed about his future. It was about winning games, one game at a time.

Fast forward to the end of the regular season. 

LSU defeats Texas A&M in College Station on Thanksgiving night, two days later Orgeron got the call that he would be named the Tigers' new full time head coach. 

One of the big storylines that has come up during bowl preparations for Saturday’s Citrus Bowl Match up against Louisville here in Orlando is Leonard Fournette skipping the Citrus Bowl, prompting other college players to skip their bowls as well.

It was announced a few days ago that the talented junior running back, who suffered injuries for most of this season, would forgo playing in the Citrus Bowl and focus on preparing for the NFL coming up this spring. 

The question had been asked and answered many times in the last three weeks, and opinions on the matter go to one spectrum of the world to the other. 

Perhaps it was addressed the best in Orlando on Thursday when LSU Offensive Coordinator Steve Ensminger and senior captains Tre’Davious White and Ethan Pocic. 

Who better to answer the question other than White? White made the decision this time last year to return to Baton Rouge to accomplish several goals. 

“Coming back for my senior year, I think it was the best decision of my life,” White told the media. “I was able to become a complete player as far as like mentally, you know, learning the game. The game slowed down so much for me. Coach [David] Aranda, he's just made football so much easier for me, just put me in position to make great plays.”

The Thorpe Award finalist was directly asked what advice he would give younger players on his team facing those same situations. The talented defensive back answered it easily as you could see in his expressions why it was so important for him to come back personally.

“If you're not confident, don't go,” White said. “For me, I had different goals in mind, as far as, you know, coming back. I had opportunity to be one of the first in my family to graduate. I wanted to be an All American. I wanted to be All-SEC. and win a National Championship. I was able to do three out of four.”

White also expanded on his advice to others. 

“Don't let anyone persuade you, not mom, not dad, friend, girlfriend, nobody, not money,” White said. "Money -- the NFL is going to be there, but it's all about becoming a complete player. When you get to the NFL, you want to be a day one starter. So that was the big deal for me. I wanted to be a day-one starter. And I feel like for me coming back, I was able to become a complete football player. It’s each players decision to do what’s best for him, I know what was best for me.”

White sat on the stage representing his team and teammates along with Pocic with a graduate patch on his Citrus Bowl Jersey. 

“It’s something that means the world to me and my family,” White said smiling. “This is what it was all about for me, being the best I could be and doing something that had never been accomplished before in my family.”

Pocic also had similar advice.  

”I just agree with that,” Pocic said. “You only get one shot. So go when you're ready. But do what's best for you.”

It was apparent that there was no hard feelings by the LSU Football team or the Tiger coaching staff, Coach Ensminger explained his thoughts about the Tigers missing No. 7 and how it would affect the LSU on offense.

“It doesn't matter what position, Leonard Fournette is a great player,” Ensminger said. “ It’s about the next man up. Whether it was the Texas A&M game, he couldn't play it, next man up. And there's guys, Darrel [Williams] and all them guys, they just stepped up and played. And you ask your teammates around them, hey, how about a little bit extra, you know, and our offense has responded. Our offensive line, our receivers have played so well. Like I said, we would love to have Leonard here and everything else, but our team is very confident in who we have in the back field.”

Orgeron has said all season long one team, one heartbeat, if the heart misses a beat and gets out of rhythm it’s up to someone to get the heart back into normal sinus rhythm, This LSU football team has joined together to do just that Saturday in the Tigers match-up against Louisville in the Citrus Bowl. 

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LSU Citrus Bowl Press Conference

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