Three-star linebacker Drew White departed Notre Dame’s Junior Day on Saturday with an offer in hand, but he was months away from making a commitment. Or so he thought.
“I wanted to wait until after the spring and commit during the summer, but after coming home, talking to my family and thinking it over, I kind of realized there’s no other place out there with the things - football, academics, tradition – that I was looking for,” White said. “So, I decided to go ahead and commit. I called coach (Mike) Elston since he is my position coach and let him know. He was really excited and happy and said he couldn’t wait to coach me.”
White, a product of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, also held offers from LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
“I liked Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, but Notre Dame just stuck out,” White said. “Notre Dame had something that caught my eye. I don’t know how you can not like Notre Dame.”
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker made the visit to Notre Dame with his father, who, along with other members in his family, backed White’s choice to commit to Notre Dame.
“My family was 100 percent behind my decision,” White said. “I’ve told everyone in my family I’m going to Notre Dame. We’ve kind of been Notre Dame fans for a long time and watched them on TV.”
White draws parallels between Notre Dame and St. Thomas Aquinas, and he views that as a positive.
“I like the tradition of the Catholic school,” White said. “Definitely unique from a big state school. I like the smaller, private school better. You can have closer relationships with people and not just be another person on campus.”
White’s older brother, Sean White, is a sophomore quarterback at Auburn. White relied on him for advice throughout the recruiting process.
“It was great learning from him,” White said. “I learned the ropes from seeing him experience it. He told he to go wherever I wanted to go. He was excited when I told him I committed to Notre Dame, he’s probably the biggest Notre Dame fan in my family.”
Despite missing the final three games of his junior season due to a foot injury, White had a team-high 101 tackles for St. Thomas Aquinas, which won the Class 7A state championship.
“I’m 100 percent healthy for the spring,” White said. “I couldn’t play in my last three games because of a couple torn ligaments in my foot. It was hard not to play in the playoffs. But I’m excited to be back.”
White was the second of three players to announce for Notre Dame on Monday and the second of three linebackers to commit since Sunday.
“I think it’s awesome,” White said. “When I called coach Elston he told me a future teammate of mine had already committed that day. And then all of a sudden, another one committed later that night. I’ve talked to them already, and we’re starting to build that relationship. They seem like great guys, so I’m excited to go through college with them.”