It's easy for anyone to get caught up in what's happening right now. The newest and latest thing is what fads are. For young football players who are courted by famous coaches and powerhouse programs the temptation to look for the latest big name in the football world is very real.
That will be a temptation for Anthony White Jr. just as it would be for most other players with four star rankings and living in Florida where coaches all over the country recruit. This time of year is bound to be an exciting time for White because now coaches will be on the road again.
The junior football player won't be able to talk to coaches for more than a simple greeting. The more extended conversations will have to be online, over the phone or when he visits campus. High school seniors are able to communicate more with coaches who visit high schools in these days of the month before February.
White stands a good chance to pick up new offers with coaches from every college on the road and dozens sure to visit American H.S. His offer list today would be envied by most other players aspiring to play beyond the high school level. In recruiting as in most other things the rich get richer.
The good news for NC State is that White is demonstrating that the program has earned a spot on his list that won't be going away. Some other schools may come or go on lists of favorites. NC State may rise or fall and he isn't exactly saying that the Pack is his top choice but Johnson is making it clear that the Pack is in the hunt from now until whenever he commits to a school.
On his Twitter account White let his followers know that the reason for that is simple. Loyalty. He's thankful that NC State was the first school to offer him and besides knowing that their offer helped to jump start the bigger recruiting process he has been thinking about the program for a long time.
"It's been a long time since they offered me. That was right at the end of my sophomore season. I'll always feel good about them because they offered me so early. That definitely means a lot."
Receivers coach George McDonald had the honor of offering White. He is also the coach with the responsibility of staying in touch, keeping White informed, helping him to set up plans that involve NC State, and most importantly the one who will have the most say in whether he commits.
"We've been talking a little here and there. You know how they'll do it. They shoot me a tweet or something and they'll let me know that they're still interested. Of course I hear it from their fans. I know they're still there and they stay in touch."
After early February the players in White's class will be hearing from college coaches a lot more. They will also be hearing from them in a much different way. Some high school players graduating in 2017 have already committed to a school. Early commitments are happening more than ever. But coaches have limited time and attention so seniors are the main focus now. Not for much longer.
The passing game at White's high school didn't get off the ground too much in part because of struggles at the quarterback position last year. White said he had more than 300 receiving yards on 18 catches but he hopes his production improves when he's a senior. Having more to put out on junior film could have been helpful but that will not necessarily hurt his chances at more offers if coaches are impressed by other things.
White knows that a lot of coaches are probably going to be coming by soon. For right now the best thing he can do as a recruit is to just sit back, go to school and wait to find out what new schools might show up. He can also probably expect to see McDonald on his campus sometime soon. In a little while the travel responsibility will fall to White and he will be the one on the road and visiting coaches on their campuses.
"I'm supposed to go to a couple of places in the summer coming up. I'll do a couple of camps. I'm probably going to try to head up to NC State again like I did last summer. I think I'll go to NC State and just some other Division 1 colleges. I'm not sure about all of it yet but I'll be doing some things like that."
Some camp trips for players are limited in focus. Players sometimes travel in groups or travel to camp at as many schools as possible. That cuts into the time those players have to visit the actual colleges and learn about the programs with all of the focus on putting in work for coaches. One reason White is so convinced of his interest in NC State is that camp in Raleigh last year. He did a lot more than just work out for the coaches.
"We actually went around and got to see a couple of different things. It was like a mini camp and we could do more than just that. I liked it a lot. I had a good time. I know I like it up there."