Cornerback Jaylon Johnson may be commanding a majority of the college football recruiting attention at Fresno (Calif.) Central East, but the Grizzlies have someone on the opposite side of the field who could be due for his own ascension on the recruiting trail: Class of 2017 wide receiver Malik White.
Known as “Baby Blanco” to his teammates, White not only used the off-season to market his own name in front of recruiting coordinators at different satellite camps, but has utilized his down time with the highly-recruited Johnson (more than 20 offers) to perfect his own game at wide receiver.
“Me and Jaylon grew up together, so we are pretty close and we push each other every day,” White said. “Every chance we get, we push each other on and off the field and we want the best for each other.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound White may not claim the number of scholarship papers that Johnson has, but does hold one offer from Utah State and tells Scout that UNLV, Arizona State, San Jose State, Fresno State, Nevada, Boise State have sent letters in the past few months.
While Johnson was placing handcuffs on wide receivers last fall, White was finding cracks in the secondary and emerged as Central’s top deep threat. He attacked cornerbacks with a single or double move to get open and found his way into the end zone. White led the Grizzlies in all three of the major receiving categories last season with 47 catches, 734 yards and eight touchdowns.
When he hits the field, White said he has the attitude of a defensive back.
“What describes me as a receiver is that I'm a complete ball hawk. I live by ‘if I don't get the ball, no one else does’ and I will come down with it nine times out of 10,” White said.
His numbers could inflate even more this upcoming season, as new head coach Kyle Biggs – a former Clovis High and Fresno City College record-breaking quarterback – is bringing in an up-tempo offensive attack geared to spread the field and score at will.
“It excites me a lot knowing that he doesn't let up and wants to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers,” White said. “I just can't wait to see it all play out.”
Central and White will open the season against traditional Fresno powerhouse Bullard on Aug. 26. White won’t just come in amped up to take the field with Johnson, Biggs and the rest of the Grizzlies, but he’s also inspired by the past Central greats who have wound up playing at the Power Five and Football Championship Subdivision level.
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Said White: “I’ve seen a lot of talent come in and out of Central - and just being able to watch their process I learned a lot (from them) and was told to enjoy it all.”null