Antoine White couldn't make it to University Park last Saturday to camp under the watchful eye of Penn State's coaching staff. Determined as he was to make his travel plans work, it was just not to be.
The defensive lineman kept a close eye on when it might work, though, and an unofficial visit to Penn State's campus is happening much sooner than expected. The recently offered 6-foot-3, 250 pound FOX Sports NEXT three-star prospect from Millville, N.J., will visit Saturday with his parents in tow, anxious to check out the facilities and amenities PSU has to offer.
"Coach Van has been trying to get me up for two weeks, and that day fits best," White said, referring to his recruiting contact, Ron Vanderlinden. "I want to see just a little more than I saw during the Junior Day. There wasn't much specifically to see, so a visit for myself is what I wanted."
Indeed, more than 50 prospects crammed into the Lasch Building for Junior Day festivities back in February, which didn't give White the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with D-line coach Larry Johnson, Vanderlinden or head coach Bill O'Brien.
He didn't think much of the missed opportunities until Penn State extended an offer last Saturday. Then, White realized a more personalized visit was just what he needed to help best compare the Lions to Rutgers, Michigan State, Vanderbilt and the other 13 programs that have offered him.
"It will be nice to sit down and really pick Coach J's head a bit," White explained when asked what he hoped to learn on the visit. "I also want to learn more about their criminal justice and children's education program.
"I'm coming for the day with my mom and pop, and I'm pumped for the visit, I'm not going to lie."
White said he enjoys when his mother and father can attend any unofficial visit he makes. The extra sets of eyes allow him to reset after each visit. He can also further analyze, or gain new insights, regarding bits and pieces of the trip he may have missed.
"It's easy for me to be very wide-eyed to a lot of things, so having them on visits with me can give me some eyesight on things I might not see when I'm caught up in the moment," White explained. "Ultimately, they will be the ones I turn to when it comes time to decide … so having them there just provides a lot of comfort."
White doesn't plan to miss much during his conversation with Johnson. The tackle already has a list of items he would like to chat with the longtime Lion assistant about, including what White calls "his unique method." That, White said, is how active he instructs his linemen to be with their hands, and how the players under Johnson's tutelage often have a never-ending motor.
"I want to see where they see me at, and get to see what type of mentality he coaches with, and what approach he brings to the D-line," White explained. "It will be nice to just get to talk some football with him, and not focus so much on the recruiting process.
"He is really good with attacking with the hands, and I would definitely like to pick up on it and sort of use it this season. I am looking forward to talking with Coach O'Brien and Coach Van, as well."
Virginia defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi was previously scheduled to be in town as well this weekend, but a late cancellation means White may have the full attention of the Lions staff.
"I just want to be able to take it all in, in one sitting, and see all of what they are about," White said. "Previously, there was no time to show you or around or ask specific questions, so I am looking forward to doing that."