More Game Than Fame

Not all the boys of summer are on the diamond; in fact, some are diamonds in the rough, traveling to football camps around the country in an attempt to polish their game and promote their name.

One such prospect was at Tennessee's Senior Camp on Saturday, and he accomplished his mission before moving on to Michigan's camp today. Jordan White, a senior wide receiver at North Ridgeville High School in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb by the same name, came to Knoxville a virtual unknown in the Class of 2006 and left as a player to remember.

Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 205 pounds, he ran routes with strength and balance, changed directions on a dime and displayed soft hands that absorbed the pace of bullet passes with apparent ease. His stellar showing follows another fine exhibition at Eastern Michigan. After he finishes at Ann Arbor it's on to Ohio State on Friday with a to LSU set for July.

"It's been nice," White said of his hectic summer slate. "It's a lot of running around. I really enjoyed the coaching they had at Tennessee. They only had like 10 players to a coach and they could point out what you were doing wrong or doing right. I liked that it was smaller than normal so you got more individual attention."

White came away with favorable impressions of UT's campus, facilities and the City of Knoxville as well. "Their stadium was of course big and nice," he said. "I really liked their indoor facility and weight room. The city is nice. We came in from the airport on Kingston (Pike) and it had a lot of shopping, restaurants, stores."

Certainly, White made a good impression of his own, gaining the attention of coaches and onlookers alike with his big-play skills. That is no small feat given the level of competition from higher ranked prospects.

And it's no surprise to the students and sports fans at North Ridgeville High School. As a junior, White caught 36 passes for 701 yards and rushed for 501 yards in just 44 carries, scoring 11 total touchdowns. He also returned nine kicks for 334 yards and averaged 33 yards as the Rangers punter. White started at wide receiver as a sophomore, catching 26 passes for 436 yards and he returned three kickoffs for 300 yards, including one for a 92-yard touchdown.

Those numbers were posted for a small Division I high school that is dropping to Division II for his senior football campaign. As versatile as White is on the gridiron he's just as capable in virtually every other varsity sport offered at North Ridgeville, although the demands on his time have limited his development as a wide receiver.

"I haven't been able to lift that much because I've been playing football, baseball, basketball and running track," he explained. "I think football is my best sport. I think I did pretty good (at UT's camp) but I could have done better in some spots."

Focusing on football alone will allow White to gain strength and sharpen his pass catching skills. He is currently benching 225 pounds and will need to get stronger going to the next level. However his other physical gifts are noteworthy. He recorded a 4.58 time in the 40 at a Nike Combine. He has a 34-inch vertical jump and posted an outstanding 4.15 in the shuttle.

"Probably my biggest influence would be Santana Moss," White said. "Back when I was 12 and 13 he was first in the league and I really liked watching him. That's why I took No. 83 to wear."

White, who projects as a full qualifier, plans to major in business or sports management. He has been offered scholarships by MAC schools Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green.

"Louisville is talking about it," he said of another potential offer. "I talked to Coach Fulmer at the end, after the camp had concluded. I told him I would send in a highlight tape and definitely stay in touch with him. He said we'll see how it goes when he sees the tape.

"I'd like to come back to Tennessee for an official visit."

If he does return to UT for an official visit, this tale of the tape may have a happy ending for the Orange and White.

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