Film Study: Notre Dame LB commit Drew White

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

LB Drew White, 6-1, 220; Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas.

The numbers: White recorded 101 tackles (52 solo), 12.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and five blocked punts in his junior season at St. Thomas Aquinas. The Raiders (13-1) finished the season with an FHSAA Class 7A state championship. White missed the last three games of the season with a foot injury.

The rankings: 247Sports – Three stars, No. 12 inside linebacker. Rivals – Three stars.

FILM BREAKDOWN

First impression: White is a highly productive linebacker for one of the nation’s top teams. Follow the ball and White will be in the picture. White likely projects as a Mike or Will linebacker at Notre Dame.

Strengths: It’s hard to miss White on his film. He’s always near the play ready to make a tackle. His physical traits might not jump off the screen, but he gets the job done. He attacks decisively and has a high football IQ. White wraps up well and doesn’t need much of a running start to stop a ball carrier dead in his track. He doesn’t shy away from contact when offensive linemen come his way.

Proof of prowess: (:25) White diagnoses a screen play right away and attacks the receiver’s route. He moves fast enough that two lineman can’t square up clean blocks on him and he runs through their attempts to make a tackle for a minimal gain … (:54) White shows some pass rush ability by blitzing off the edge and taking down the quarterback in a panic … (5:19) White might not be credited with the tackle, but his persistence in fighting off the tight end leaves the running back with nowhere to run. White refuses to be turned inside to create a lane for the back.

Competition level: St. Thomas Aquinas didn’t finish as the No. 21 team in the country according to MaxPreps based on talent alone. The computer ranking also takes into account the strength of the STA schedule which included six of the top 25 teams from Florida. A slate like that in the talent-rich Sunshine State speaks for itself.

Left to prove: White will need to develop more explosive athleticism to make an impact at Notre Dame. He doesn’t quite have an elite trait yet beyond his ability to read offenses. White’s aggressive play should translate to the weight room. In coverage, White recovers well to make tackles after the catch. I’d like to see how he covers while running with running backs and tight ends.

Three-star linebacker Drew White, a 2017 recruit, committed to Notre Dame on March 21, 2016. (Photo provided)