Sleeper no more: New Coug Charleston White

STEVE PARR GETS straight to the point. "He has a big upside -- great hands, great concentration, great speed, a great competitor," the head coach at Paro Duro High in Amarillo, Texas, told CF.C this week when asked to describe his two-way star, and newly signed WSU Cougar, Charleston White. But here's the most intriguing thing about the young man ...

"He's a three-sport athlete," Coach Parr says. "He's also an excellent basketball player, and a long jumper in track -- and he may do relays this year too ... As good as he looks on tape, he will only get better when he's specializing in just one sport. He's a great ballplayer, but get him in the weight room and in Mike Leach's program with the tutelage from that group of coaches ...."

In other words, imagine what the kid can do when he's actually focused on football.

The 6-1, 170-pound White could play either receiver or defensive back for the Cougars. Parr thinks WSU wants him more for receiver, but WSU listed him as a DB on its official signing day press release.

Either way, it's clear the kid can play at a very high level.

WSU recruiting coordinator Dave Emerick told CF.C subscribers in a chat room gathering on Wednesday that he's "an exceptional talent ... the type of athleticism that we are looking for."

White is also a standout off the field, Parr says.

"He's a good kid and a good student, and his family is very supportive," he says. "You see that on the field, because he has compassion for his teammate. He has a true sense of maturity."

Oh, there's also the speed.

Parr said White ran 40 times of 4.36 and 4.37 at camps last summer.

White attracted a host of scholarship offers, including one from Baylor, but none from the traditional in-state powerhouses.

How come?

Two dynamics at work there, he says.

First, college recruiting today puts most of the emphasis on a player's sophomore and junior years.

2013 COUGAR RECRUITS


For the complete recruiting class list, CLICK HERE.

And for a jumpstart look at how the 2014 prospect list is starting to shape up, CLICK HERE.
"Everybody's in a hurry (to fill up their classes) so the senior season doesn't matter as much," Parr says. So when a kid elevates his game as a senior, it's too late to climb far on some schools' boards.

The second element at work is geography.

"We're closer to three other state capitals than our own. Santa Fe, Denver and Oklahoma City are all closer to us. We just don't get that much attention. Our location is really isolated in the state of Texas – we're in the north-central part of the Texas panhandle, so we don't get the visibility of other schools."

Ziggy Hood, one of Parr's greatest players in 14 years at the helm, went to Missouri to play college ball and became a first-round draft pick of the Steelers in 2009.

That's not to say Amarillo is ignored by the in-state schools. Mack Brown reached in this week at the 11th hour to steal away one of White's teammates, fellow WSU verbal commit Mantel Meander.

"It was real close (for Meander on whether to switch from WSU to Texas). I feel sorry for college coaches when that happens, I feel bad about that, but at the same time you want your kids to feel comfortable in their choice. Texas just came in with a late, late offer. He always said Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon were the schools if an offer came in."

As for White, Parr says all things being equal – health, adjustment to college life, acclimation to the system – then "he has an opportunity to shine" at WSU.

"He has the God-given talent and he will work hard."

White was a two-way first-team all-league selection this past fall at receiver and defensive back. He caught 26 balls for 557 yards and six touchdowns -- good for almost 22 yards-per-catch. He also racked up 50 tackles with two interceptions, one of which he returned in spectacular fashion for a score (see the VIDEO here). He also returned four kickoffs for touchdowns.

Cougfan Top Stories