North Carolina Tech Prep defensive lineman Marquise White, was a late addition to the class of 2011, and USFNation.com has the skinny on the future Bull.
White is a 6-foot-4, 310 pound defensive tackle who just finished at NC Tech Prep, and before that went to Olympia where he played basketball with USF Commit Corian Hamilton in 2009. He only played football for one year this past season, but with his size and athleticism, has a lot of sleeper potential. I spoke with Marquise and here is the exclusive interview.
How do you feel now that you're signed with USF?
"It feels real good, and I'm very excited about coming in to USF this fall and making a contribution to the team and to the school."
Why did you choose USF?
"I chose USF because it's close to home, and when I went on my visit I got a real good feel for the place, the coaches and the players. The players were all real nice and made me feel very welcome. USF also has a real good football program, and they've done a lot of big things in their short time."
What did you think of the players you met?
"I met a lot of the players when I was on my visit, and they're a great bunch of guys. Anthony hill was my host, and he was real cool. I met a bunch of the defensive linemen and they're all a good group. They treated me like I was one of them and I had a lot of fun with them while I was down there."
What did you think of the coaching staff?
"They have a great staff at USF. I really like Coach Patrick. KP seems like a good guy, he's funny and a little goofy at times, but he seems like a really good coach and we became tight. I also like Coach Hargreaves too, they both got the D-line covered. Coach Holtz is a great coach and I like him as well. He's giving me a chance, and an opportunity with USF. He seems very genuine with what he says and what he does. He was straight up with me and thinks I have the ability and potential to be a great player for them."
What other schools offered and were in the picture before choosing USF?
"I had a bunch of schools looking at me and got a lot of small schools that offered. Southern and FAMU were really on me. UNC was talking to me, and was going to offer, but they went in another direction. The University of Minnesota was going to offer me and wanted me to come on a visit, but I didn't go because it's kind of far and I don't like the cold."
What do you like about the USF football program?
"I like how they give you all the tools to be successful on the field and in the classroom. They're real big on academics and I like that. They give all the players laptops, and have all kinds of things to help you in getting your degree. There are a lot of things I like about USF. Their facilities are great and they have those new practice fields; with an artificial field too, that's real nice. The weight room is real nice, and the nutrition center they're building is going to be nice. I'm not all that sure exactly what it is, but basically they'll have good food for all of us to eat and do it as a team."
"I know they have a real good defense after watching some film on them. I'm not too sure about the offense because I was just focusing on the defense, but they're good. I love the way the D-line plays, they do a lot of moving around, with a lot of stunts, and I like doing stunts. Everybody gets to make plays. I spoke with Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder, he's a nice guy, a good coach, and I like the way he coaches the defense.
Since you went to Olympia are you friendly with Corian Hamilton?
"Yes, me and Corian Hamilton played basketball together and are friends. We don't talk like that a lot, but we are friends and he's my little buddy right there. It'll be nice to be there with someone I already know."
Since you only played football for one season give us your back story how it all happened.
"I actually was at Dr. Phillips from my freshman to junior year, but didn't play sports because I wasn't eligible. Then I transferred to Olympia my senior year, but didn't play football. When I got there I played basketball, because I was always a ball player. I thought I would be set playing hoops and had that mind set. Everybody was telling me that I should play football because I have the body for it. But I never really did it because I was good at basketball too."
"Once my senior year was over, I didn't really get the big school offers I was looking for and some schools started to recruit me for football. There was also this coach from a semi-pro league named James Woods. He came up to me about football and actually got a coach from Colorado state to come talk to me. He basically told me that I could go to a prep school and give programs a chance to see me play. That's basically how I ended up at North Carolina Tech Prep."
How did USF get involved?
"At first, my coach at NC Tech was sold that UNC was going to offer me, but while I was waiting for the offer and they were delaying; we started calling schools and sending tapes out. USF got my film, liked it, started talking to me and brought me down for a visit and the rest is history."
There have been different reports out there, so what is your exact height and weight?
"I'm 6-foot-4, and 310 pounds, but I'm probably 6'5 with my shoes on. When I was in high school I was about the same height and weighed around 290. Actually, probably around 275-280 when I was playing hoops."
What was it like playing your first year of football?
"It went well, and I got the hang of it pretty quick. The more I started to play, the better I got. It was a work in progress. I'm a big athletic guy, but I was in my stance all wrong, and was learning as I played, but I caught on pretty quick."
What were the hardest and easiest things for you to get acclimated with on the field?
"I'd say getting used to the physical part was the easiest for me because I was very physical while playing basketball, so being physical on the field came easy. The hardest thing for me to get used to was the heat with having all that equipment on. I wasn't used to that. The mental part of the game wasn't too hard to get used to because we didn't run a lot of plays and basically ran two types of defense."
Where did you play at prep school and where does USF see you?
"I lined up the most at defensive end, but also played inside. USF wants me on the inside. I won't have any problem with the transition. At defensive end there's a lot of pressure because you have to be kind of fast and I was playing D-End at NC Tech because I was the second fastest D-linemen there. I'm fast for my size, but I'm better suited for the inside. I probably run close to a 4.8 right now, but I know I can get that down once I get to USF and start getting conditioned."
What makes you a good football player, and your best assets?
"My speed, my agility, and probably my instincts are my strong points. Not to mention my size and being how athletic I am for my size. I want to work on my speed and get faster and I want to get stronger too. I'm strong, but we didn't really focus on getting bigger and stronger at NC Tech. We went to the weight room, but nothing big, maybe three times a week."
"I think I'm the best at my take off the line and then my hands. I got good hands. I like to bull rush, stunt and twist, and also my spin move, but I got to keep working on that. I'm the best at bull rushing right now, that and rip."
How do you feel now that you had a few days to think about it?
"I'm real excited and very happy. It's a great school with a very good football program. It's closest enough so that my family and friends can all come and see me play. I like the decision I made."
What do you see in the future once you get to USF?
"I plan on doing big things once I get there. I want to make an impact on the team, and eventually get to the NFL. I'm going to get there and work extremely hard to achieve those goals, and hopefully get to the NFL.'
Speaking of the NFL did USF putting players into the NFL affect you decision?
"Yeah it did. There's obviously that connection with USF and the NFL going. They put some D-linemen in recently, with number 97 Terrell McClain going this year. Last year they had two go, with one in the first round to the giants and the other to the Rams. Hopefully once I get in there, I'll be one of the next greats to come out of USF."
What are your plans once you get to USF?
"I'm just going to work on everything, get stronger, faster, and work on my technique really. I got to get bigger and stronger, because I hear that the offensive linemen are kind of big and I have to be able to hold my ground. I'm still learning every day, but being on the D-line it's a little easier. Basically, I just got to make sure that nobody gets through the gaps, and if you're on the end just make sure nobody gets to the outside. Either go after the quarterback or go after the ball really. I just got to learn the different plays and different stuff they'll teach me."
How does it feel after playing basketball a year ago and now you are about to play football for a BCS team?
"It feels real good, and a lot of people didn't think I'd be where I am right now. I feel like I'm setting an example for other people who are in a similar situation. I worked hard, got my grads up and now I'm going to USF. I'm going to work my tail off every day to make sure I make a big impact for USF and then get to the league. I'm trying to make it so that my momma doesn't have to work no longer because she sacrificed a lot for me."
How do you feel now that you're signed and about to head to USF?
"I feel great. It's a great opportunity, and I'm not going to let anybody down. I got some Bulls gear and all my family is already talking about getting a Bulls jersey and all that stuff. I'm just ready to get there and get it started with USF!"