Notre Dame visit, offer open eyes for LB Drew White

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

In the same week Corey Holmes was pointed to as a potential rising star for Notre Dame’s spring football slate, the Irish hosted another product of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas.

Linebacker Drew White visited South Bend on Saturday for junior day. He left campus with a new scholarship offer from the Irish.

The connection between White and Holmes doesn’t go much further than the fact they attended the same Catholic football powerhouse in Florida. The two didn’t even talk while White was on campus.

“I guess he saw me on the sidelines and saw I was from Aquinas,” White said. “It’s great to have an Aquinas player there. That’s cool to see.”

Instead, White was drawn to visit Notre Dame because of his relationship with the Irish coaching staff and his interest in the program. He’s been in regular contact with Notre Dame linebackers coach Mike Elston and running backs coach Autry Denson, who recruits in Florida for the Irish.

“I knew I wanted to get up north to really see what it’s like,” White said. “I’ve never really been up in this part of the country so I wanted to see what Notre Dame’s campus was like. They said they really wanted me up here so I decided to come.”

Notre Dame’s coaching staff returned the favor by offering White after seeing him in person. He learned about his offer from defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and head coach Brian Kelly.

“I talked to VanGorder and he said that they wanted me and they really liked my film, the student I was and the instincts I have — the football IQ that I can read offenses and read an O-line,” White said. “To finish it off, Brian Kelly called me into his office and officially gave me a scholarship.”

Notre Dame joined Michigan, Ohio State, LSU among the schools to have offered the 6-foot-1, 220-pound White. He totaled 101 tackles (52 solo), 12.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and five blocked punts in his junior season at St. Thomas Aquinas. His older brother, Sean, started five games at quarterback for Auburn this past season.

247Sports pegs Drew White as a three-star recruit and the No. 10 inside linebacker in the 2017 class. Rivals rates him as a two-star prospect.

White left South Bend impressed by Notre Dame.

“It was pretty much the total package with academics, football and the tradition,” White said. “I really liked the coaching staff. I got to meet with all the coaches – VanGorder, Elston, Denson. They really have a good Florida connection with Denson coming from Broward County and VanGorder was coaching down in Florida at one point. That was really cool. And I got to meet with Brian Kelly. He’s an awesome guy.”

White said he hopes to make a verbal commitment before his senior season but isn’t going to hold himself to a deadline. He plans to make more visits in the spring and summer but hasn’t scheduled specific trips.

Following the weekend, Notre Dame became a serious contender for White.

“This Notre Dame visit was cool," he said. "It really opened my eyes to Notre Dame.”


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Florida linebacker Drew White, a 2017 recruit, reported a Notre Dame offer while on campus for junior day March 19. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)