White Sets Pack Official Visit

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St Thomas Aquinas standout tailback James White is considering offers from several schools, and NC State remains heavily in the mix.

James White, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound three-star running back from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has already taken official visits to Wisconsin (Sept. 4) and Iowa (Sept. 19) and will be tripping to North Carolina State for their rivalry game against North Carolina on Nov. 28.

"I really want to see how NC-State rotates their backs," White said. "I'll also be checking out how the players and coaches get along and the kind of team chemistry they have."

White admits that he likes what he's seen so far from the Wolfpack. "I like their running game," he said. "They are playing a true freshman at running back right now and that's great because it shows they aren't afraid to play the young guys."

He says he's also fond of NC-State coach Tom O'Brien. "He's doing a good job there," he said. "He brought most of his staff from Boston College there and they know how to win." The school recruiting White the hardest, however, is Iowa. "All the coaches write me," he said. "They really get into it. I have a good relationship with (recruiting coordinator/assistant linebackers) coach Eric Johnson.

"I've even got a few handwritten letters from coach Kirk Ferentz," he said. "They said they like how versatile I am and said they'd use me in the passing game too."

White, ranked as the No. 68 running back in the country by Scout.com, visited the Hawkeyes on Sept. 19 for the Arizona game. "It was a really nice visit," he said. "They showed me a great time. I like the fan base and how passionate they are. The game day atmosphere is great. The fans never sit.

"The players made us feel welcome too," he said. "They showed us around the campus and the town and showed us all the spots they go to and hang out at. They made us feel like part of the team."

Another thing that impressed White during his time at Iowa was Iowa City. "It's in the downtown area, so it's a very vibrant environment," he said. "It's a fun place."

White's first official visit was on Sept. 4 to Wisconsin. "It was a great trip too," he said. "I got to hang out with two of my old teammates (freshman linebacker Conner O'Neill and freshman defensive back Dezmen Southward) who go there and that was fun. It's cool being around people you know. I felt very comfortable there.

"It was actually a lot like Iowa," he said. "The fans are great at Wisconsin and it's a lot of fun during the game. People tailgate and everyone comes out."

In fact, so far this season it's the Badgers that have impressed White the most.

"They've shown a lot this year," he said. "They are 3-0 and on a nice run. They could be competing for the Big Ten championship this year."

The only school in White's top four that he hasn't scheduled an official visit to is Clemson. "They want me to come out after the season for an official," he said. "So I think I'm gonna try to go there for a game or something. I really want to see what the atmosphere is like during the season."

White says it's the Tigers' offense that has them as a finalist in his mind. "I really like how they use C.J. Spiller and that's how they said they'd use me," he said. "They get him involved in a lot of different ways."

So what does White think of the job that coach Dabo Swinney is doing in his first full year as a head coach? "I think coach Swinney is doing a good job," he said. "It's hard to take over a program like that and win, but I think they are improving with every game and playing hard."

White says he'll make a decision after his senior season. "I just want to play for down-to-earth coaches," he said. "And where it's a home away from home."

Thus far White has rushed for about 90 yards and one touchdown. St. Thomas Aquinas is 2-0 with wins at Upper Arlington (52-7) and a home game against Anderson (46-6). They travel to Cardinal Gibbons on Sept. 25.

White plans to major in accounting and reports a 3.5 core GPA and has a 1080 SAT.

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