Super tight end with offers galore

At Nebraska, there is a certain profile, which is said to be ideal for today's tight end. It's a player, who has tight end dependability with wide receiver capability. Nebraska has two, but one hasn't caught a ball in actual competition in over a year and the other hasn't even hit campus. That means they need to find some more. Aron White could be just the kind of player they are looking for.

At 6 foot, 4 inches tall and 210 pounds, when you project Rock Bridge high's (Columbia, MO.) Aron White as a pass-catcher, tight end isn't probably the first position that comes to mind. Up until Smith arrived at Rock Bridge, transferring from Hickman HS, he might have agreed. But it's been one coach, who has some pretty nice credentials, that has taught him that where you are at the prep-level, when it comes to your body, isn't nearly as important as where you will eventually be.

"Coach Ofodile taught me that it's not important to go into college looking like a tight end in the pros, because there's a lot of time to develop into a proper tight end," White said of his position coach, former Baltimore Raven and Buffalo Bill tight end A.J. Ofodile. "He's taught me that right now, it's about fundamentals, route-running and blocking."

All three are things White takes great pride in as he goes into just his senior year, but what will be only his second year of playing varsity ball. It's those basics, which he credits for his first season with the big boys at the prep level, as White averaged over 17 yards per reception, grabbing 36 balls for 621 yards, scoring 11 touchdowns.

His size may not scream "tight end" to you right now, but White said that from what he's been taught thus far, he knows after some time in the weight room and working even more on the basics of the position, that's where his potential will be realized.

"First, you look at the coaching I have and I probably am more fortunate than anyone I know," Aron said. "I have a great gift in what he's been able to teach me and everything I still have to learn."

"I feel so confident in being able to do just some of the simple things, but at this level, that's what matters. If you are fundamentally sound, you can really dominate."

Now, if you have seen his profile and learned about his coach, you probably have your mind made up as to where this prep standout is going to end up when it comes to his college of choice.

After all, he lives in Columbia, Missouri, the home of the Tigers and grew up an avid Tiger fan. Ofodile is also an alum of Missouri, and when it comes to using tight ends effectively, it's hard to discount what Missouri has done, especially just this last season.

In 2005, out of all the tight ends in the conference, it was Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman, both members of the Tigers, who led all tight ends in the conference in receiving. Ironically, both ended the year catching 47 balls, Rucker totaling 567 and one touchdown, while Coffman totaled 503 yards and four touchdowns.

For a tight end in training, that's probably not a bad place to be, especially when it's your hometown team. "It would always be great to play in your hometown and with what Missouri has done with their tight ends, it offers a lot for someone like me," White said. "Those guys get a lot of balls, have a lot of chances to make things happen and you look at them as two guys, who can definitely make an impact at the next level."

With that being said, White did say that while Missouri looks good for a lot of reasons, there are a lot of other programs, which aren't exactly second-rate institutions. "I'm so lucky, because so many of the schools looking at me are such quality places to be," White said of the double-digit number of offers he has, which include Kansas, Kansas State, Northwestern, Duke, South Carolina , N.C. State, Nebraska, Arizona State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Cal, Georgia Tech, Tulsa and Vanderbilt. "Whether it's academics, athletics or both, I have a lot of great choices in front of me."

That list is impressive, but that probably doesn't constitute the eventual list he'll have before this recruiting process is done. White started to realize that a little as the offers started coming in and didn't stop. So, he's trying to stay ahead of the curve and taking some trips this summer, but not to just some of the schools who have offered him in writing, but to some others that might before it's all said and done.

"I'm actually going to see Tennessee, N.C. State, Duke, South Carolina, Georgia Tech and possibly Georgia and Wake Forest," White said of unofficial visits he'll take during what he calls his summer "tour".

The Husker fan probably wouldn't see much of a bright side in this, as the Huskers don't seem to be coming up in the general conversation. But White said that Nebraska was certainly a team, which he would look at along with everyone else. "I grew up watching this rivalry between Missouri and them, and it was pretty exciting to be at games when those two played," Aron said. "Nebraska was always like the biggest game of the year for them, so I got to see some of those great Nebraska teams from before."

What intrigues White the most about Nebraska, though, isn't some of the achievements they have had on the field, but those they have had off. "I heard they lead the country in Academic All-Americans, and for me, that's a pretty big deal," he said. "Academics is a major factor for me, because I really value my education."

Aron has the numbers to back that up, possibly even more than he does for what he does playing football, as he has a 3.3 GPA, but boasts an impressive 28 on his ACT.

The kid is smart, no doubt, but when it comes to college, he's also got some common sense as unlike most kids you see, who want to hit the field as a starter the second they get on campus, White is thinking a ways ahead. "I would actually like to redshirt my first year if I can," White said. "It would be great to just come out and start right away, but I think I would be much more prepared if I had a year to learn a system, get acclimated to the team and then come out and give it my all."

For White, the recruiting process is going to take awhile to sort out. Just out of the sheer number of offers and the way he wants to go about analyzing them all, he's got a long summer ahead. But Aron's goal is to have his list figured out, at least to the point of a top five, before his final season begins. If everything works out right and that does happen, he'll either take all of his official visits or take enough to the point, where he's certain of which place he'd like to attend.

As of right now, though, he doesn't have even the foggiest of who stands where.

"I'm lucky, because I have so many choices, but that just means I have so much more to do in trying to figure out which place will suit me the best," he said. "That's good, but it's probably going to be a little hectic at times."

"I'm ready for it, because I know what I want. It's just a matter of time before I figure out which team fits that the best."

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