Up Close: Randy White, Pt. I

BRISTOL, Va. --- Randy White confidently headed into North Carolina's three-day camp last weekend.

  • Photo Shoot: Randy White

    "I was hoping for an offer, but I wanted to just do my best," said White. "I was kind of thinking I might come away with an offer, but I didn't really know for sure."

    Despite not having any scholarship offers, White, a 6-foot-5 230-pound jumbo athlete from Virginia High School, narrowed his choice of schools to three – UNC, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

    Heading into the summer, White and his head football coach Terry Smith mapped out a camping schedule that included stops at all three aforementioned schools.

    White arrived in Chapel Hill on Thursday night and proceeded to participate in the final practice session of the day.

    "They just got me out there to see my speed, run routes, and watch my deep snapping," said White.

    At one point during the session, White – along with another tight end, and quarterbacks Braden Hanson (Charlotte (N.C.) Latin) and Tommy Reamon (Gloucester (Va.)) – was singled out by offensive coordinator John Shoop.

    "He was just trying to watch my explosive speed off the line, to do different routes that they do in games, and he was testing my endurance to see how many I can run in a row," said White.

    Before the session ended, White was singled out yet again. With Butch Davis observing, White long snapped to special teams coordinator John Lovett, while Steve Hagen acted like a rushing defender.

    "They were just seeing how well I could do it and how well I could block doing that," said White. "So it's another option for me to come there for."

    White concluded the session with a conversation with Hagen, his primary recruiter.

    "He said I had a great showing and they wanted to meet with me the next morning," said White. "He said I looked good and they couldn't wait to see me work out the next day."

    Along with his father, Randy Sr., and Smith, White arrived in the football offices promptly at 8 a.m.

    "I met with them and they took me into Coach Davis' office," said White. "They talked about the education, everything at UNC, their new coaching system, how they want to bring new players in to get a good start."

    Davis then proceeded to offer White a scholarship.

    "He said they like my size and my ability to move," said White. "He said that my weight, it doesn't look as much as I weigh. He said that's good because I can put on a lot of weight for college. And they just liked my foot speed and my ability to block."

    White verbally committed to Davis on the spot.

    "I just felt really comfortable with the coaches; I love the campus; and just the way Coach Davis was talking about how's he's going to turn the program around – he's real stern in that," said White. "He believes in the tight end, and that helped me make my decision."

    White went into Friday's morning practice session a Tar Heel pledge.

    "[Hagen] just wanted me get my footwork down and what I'd be doing there," said White. "He was showing me a little afterwards what I'd be doing."

    Hagen then escorted White around campus for a personal tour.

    "I love the campus; it's beautiful," said White. "Great academic facilities, great sports facilities – I just really fell in love with it after I took a tour. I knew I made the right decision."

    Shortly thereafter, White exited Chapel Hill. His original schedule had him arriving in Knoxville Friday night for Tennessee's camp. However, White decided to head home.

    "I didn't see any use [in going to Tennessee], because I fell in love with [UNC]," said White. "I didn't want to go anywhere else."

    According to White, his verbal commitment to UNC is "100-percent" firm.

    White made his first visit to UNC during his sophomore year as a spectator for a football game. He then attended the Tar Heels' three-day camp last summer.

    "I just got real interested in the coaches, the team aspect being like a family – just coming together," said White.

    However, White's love for UNC started at a much younger age.

    "I just always used to watch Carolina basketball games with my dad – he loves Dean Smith," said White. "I've been a big fan of the Tar Heels for a long time."

    North Carolina is recruiting White as a tight end. However, they haven't specified whether he'd be a tight end or h-back in their offense.

    "They've kind of kept it secret from me, right now," said White. "They said they'd tell me more the closer it got.

    "They just told me about the whole two tight end system. I'm kind of looking forward to that."

    White believes he'd be better suited as a tight end, which is more of a hybrid tight end/wide receiver in UNC's new offense.

    "You'd have to be able to do both [receiver and block] to play that position, but I like catching the ball and getting opportunities to help the team out," said White.

    Smith, however, sees White as a h-back, which is a tight end that is used more as an extension of the offensive line.

    "He's going to be that type of h-back/flex tight end that can move," said Smith. "He can put on some weight where he can go down and play that tough tight end – block off the edge, seal block, and pull."

    With his recruitment out of the way, White shifts his focus to his senior football season.

    (Check back tomorrow for Part II)

    Randy White Profile

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