Notre Dame football commit White says he’s settled on future

TYLER JAMES
South Bend Tribune

Ashton White has a tendency of second-guessing his decisions.

For his junior season of football, White transferred from Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md., to Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C. He has since returned to McNamara for his upcoming senior season.

White once held a verbal commitment with Virginia Tech. He pledged to the Hokies in December, but withdrew his commitment in March. On July 1, White gave his commitment to Notre Dame.

He finally seems settled with the plans for his future. The mistakes of previous decisions shaped a better understanding of his goals.

“I wanted to come back to McNamara because it's where my family was,” White said. “It was, academically, a better place for me. The way McNamara prepares you for college, it's unmatched by any of the schools in the area. I just had the feeling that McNamara was the right place for me. I wanted to finish where I started."

He felt similarly about Notre Dame after a trip to South Bend in June.

"I fell in love with the school,” White said. “I fell in love with everything about Notre Dame. I had the feeling when I was on campus that it was the right place for me.”

But when the 5-foot-11, 185-pound cornerback visited Notre Dame, he had yet to receive an offer. He made the trip to participate in camp and prove to the coaching staff that he belonged.

“That was the goal going in,” White said. “I just told myself I had to show the coaching staff that I was a great player, a great person and a great student.”

Defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder saw enough in White to extend an offer.

"Coach Cooks said I look like a natural defensive back,” White said. “He and coach VanGorder, they like my feet. They like my hips. They like the way I move. They also like that I'm physical.”

White liked the Irish just as much. After returning home and talking with his parents, he decided to commit just days later.

"I love the tradition, the people,” White said. “Coach Kelly keeps it contemporary enough with their facilities to keep the players happy and excited about being there, but it's still steeped in tradition for the alumni and the former players that came through. It's a great balance of the modern generation and tradition. This is Notre Dame. It doesn't get better than that.”

The decision to commit to Virginia Tech was rushed, White said. This time he felt he had done his due diligence in visiting more schools before committing to Notre Dame.

He hopes to follow the path of two current Irish players, sophomore cornerback Devin Butler (Gonzaga) and freshman offensive lineman Sam Mustipher (Good Counsel), from the Washington Catholic Athletic conference to Notre Dame.

White made his visit to Notre Dame at the advice of Irish tight ends coach Scott Booker, who recruits the D.C. area. He found that Booker and the Irish coaching staff represented a program he wants to join.

"He knows his football and he's a great person to talk to,” White said. “One of the things I really like about him and the other coaches on the staff, they're all educated and know what they're talking about. With them it's not we want you to come here and play foot-ball. They say, 'We want you to come here to become a better man, a better person in your community, a better student and also a better football player.’”

That last goal, becoming a better football player, is something White hopes to prove in his senior season. He feels underrated as a three-star prospect. 247Sports slates him as the No. 43 multi-positional athlete in the 2015 class and the No. 5 recruit in Maryland. Rivals ranks him No. 21 in the state and puts him outside the top 60 cornerbacks nationally.

He has his eyes set on a conference championship. Then maybe some of the recruiting analysts will second-guess their evaluations.

"I've worked extremely hard this offseason,” White said. “I'm just looking forward to this season because I'm ready to go off. A lot of people who are already committed take their senior season to relax. I feel like I need to completely go off and show the world I'm one of the best.”

Tyler James: 574-235-6214

Twitter: @TJamesNDI

2015 cornerback Ashton White announced a verbal commitment to Notre Dame on Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports).