D.J. White, Union Grove's standout cornerback finished his junior year with 20-tackles, three-interceptions along with 13-pass deflections, and at the recent NIKE camp ran a 4.43-40 while earning the defensive back MVP honors, and was considered one of the best corners in all of Georgia. Last week we reported that the 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from McDonough, GA chose USF and now give you the skinny on why he chose the Bulls, how the commitment went down, and more.
"Yes sir, I committed to USF and feel great about my decision."
Now that your choice has been made talk about why you picked South Florida.
"Like I told you earlier there are so many reasons why I chose South Florida," said White. "It's a great place to live, I feel like I can fill the need at cornerback and maybe get some playing time my first year, but the main reason is when I went down there I was very comfortable with the area and very comfortable with the coaches as well."
What do like about the coaching staff at USF?
"When I went on my visit they sat me down and explained to me in depth what it would be like to play there and live there," said White. "Coach Smith, the defensive backs coach is very experienced, has put a lot of guys into the NFL and knows what he's doing. Coach Shankweiler my recruiting coordinator is a great guy, and he's straight forward, a good person, is very open and tells you what he's thinking. I found him to be a very respectful guy."
"Coach Holtz is a great coach and seems like a genuinely good person in general," said White. "He takes very good care of his players, both on and off the field and has great facilities to help them perform and working to make them even better. He also feels like they're building something special and I think they are too. That's something I want to be part of, no doubt."
You and your family went on many visits how do they feel about your decision?
"They support it one hundred percent and they liked it as much as I did," said White. "When we went down there they told me if this is the place that you want to go, we're behind you if you want to commit to them. I really enjoyed myself down there and so did my family, that's why I made my decision to go there."
You previously said you wanted to make an early decision before you're season began, but what made you decide to end your recruitment this early?
"I just felt that this is what I really wanted" said White. "Once I made up my mind, there was no reason for me to wait any longer. USF is where I wanted to be."
How did the commitment go down?
"Coach Shankweiler came by school and I told him I was ready," said White. "He was very excited to hear the news. He had a big smile on his face and gave me a big handshake and hug. He got me on the phone with Coach Holtz as soon as possible and I talked with him as well. Coach Holtz asked me why I chose them and wanted to make sure it was a decision that my family supported as well as myself. He was very excited as well and welcomed me to the family."
Did you know before Coach Shankweiler came for the visit that you were going to pull the trigger and commit?
"Yes sir, I knew awhile ago that I was going to commit to South Florida," said White. "I like everything about the school and the program when I went down there for my visit. The facilities are real nice, top of the line. They already have a nice weight room, great practice fields and have plans to keep building a lot more including an indoor practice facility. They're a great school academically with a great business program and the overall atmosphere can't be beat. It was just a matter of time."
You mentioned their need for cornerbacks and the chance for early playing time, how important was that to you?
"Yes sir it was, I want to play early," said White. "I wanted to be able to get on the field and start my career early and that was important to me. I know nothing will be given to me, but I wanted the opportunity to be able to get in there and have the shot and with South Florida I'll get that chance."
He talked about how the USF defensive scheme fits into what he's looking for.
"Yes the way Coach Smith explained it to me they run a defensive scheme very similar to the Patriots and the Falcons. They run a very balanced defense and are very aggressive. They mix it up and show a lot of different looks. It's the perfect defense for a player like me."
What do you bring to the table as a corner back?
"I'm a physical corner, very physical and I'm not afraid to play press or off," said White. "I've got good speed and ball skills and the ability to recognize offenses and plays. I feel I can bring a very physical presence to the defense and be a playmaker on the field."
Now that you made your decision how do you feel about it?
"I feel absolutely great, like a load has been lifted off of my chest,' said White. "This is where I knew I wanted to go when I first stepped on campus. I feel good about it, my family feels good about it, and I'm very excited."
With it being early in the recruiting process how solid are you with your commitment to USF?
"I'm very solid, this is where I want to be," said White. "I already visited a lot of programs and USF just really stood out the best out of all of them. I know this is the place for me. Now I can just focus on school and my senior season."