Ready for the Experience

Trying to narrowing his vast list of scholarship offers down to five is proving to be a difficult task for St. Thomas Aquinas running back James White. Even so, the three-star athlete has set up some official visits, including one to Madison this weekend.

MADISON - Nobody ever said Wisconsin can only have one running back.

Despite the Badgers planning to use all four of their underclassmen tailbacks this season and with Brookfield Central senior Jeff Lewis already committed to the 2010 class, Wisconsin is still after its top running back.

Naturally, that top running back comes from the top high school program in the country.

After turning 125 carries into 933 yards rushing and 12 receptions into 125 yards, St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) running back James White and his 21 total touchdowns in 2008 have been a hot commodity.

With 14 scholarship offers from schools like Clemson, North Carolina State, Rutgers, Iowa, Tulane, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Boston College and Indiana, White (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) made sure he got out of the warm weather and traveled around the country in hopes of narrowing his scholarship list down to five.

"I visited 11 colleges, went to four or five camps and did a lot of sightseeing over the summer to help narrow my list down," White told Badger Nation. "I am hoping to narrow my list down, but I am still working on it. It's not as easy as people think."

Rated the 68th-best running back in the country by, White has got three spots filled in, as the three-star prospect wants to take a closer look at North Carolina State, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Having already visited both Iowa and Wisconsin over the summer, White walked away with different, but positive impressions.

"On the way to Iowa, there are a lot of corn fields, but Iowa City is like a nice downtown area," White said of his trip. "Wisconsin is a big college town. It's really impressive and is really nice. I like both schools because they're both from the Big Ten, they love to run the ball featuring their running backs and that's just something I like. I like that there running backs get to be versatile."

White is so intrigued by both schools that he has already set up his official visits, as he will head to Iowa on September 19 and Wisconsin this weekend.

The Badgers already have to former Raiders on campus – true freshmen Conor O'Neill and Dezmen Southward – and White won't be making the trip alone, as teammate and STA linebacker Vinnie Mauro will also take his official visit.

"I've heard how great the game day atmosphere is in Madison and how it seems to shut down the town, especially for a night game," White said. "It will be good to see Conor and Dez again. They told me that it's a lot of hard work, but it's a lot of fun. If I went there, I would know some people that would make the adjustment easier."

After his team rolled to a 52-7 victory over Upper Arlington High in the Kirk Herbstreit Challenge in Columbus, White's first step is to get his top five narrowed down and then focus on his season.

Planning on making his decision after the season to see what other opportunities may arise for him, White is working on perfecting his technique and to help lead his team to a third straight state title.

"I want to see what other stuff may roll in for me," White said. "I am sure as the season progresses, other opportunities may open up and I don't want to make my decision too early. I just worked on cutting well up the field, putting my starter step down and just keep going. I wanted to be more explosive. This year, I want to break over 1,000 yards and having a good step will help me do that."

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