Nittany Lions on Site to See White

Nittany Lions on Site to See White

Penn State assistant coach Larry Johnson stopped by to watch the Millville (N.J.) High defensive tackle work out. Did the prospect score his 10th offer?

Michigan State was the ninth school to offer 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle Antoine White of Millville (N.J.) High, doing so May 2. Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson stopped the school recently, too.

While Johnson's trip to Millville did not result in a 10th offer for White, it did increase the prospect's interest in the Nittany Lions.

Johnson watched White perform agility drills and lift, while also spending time chatting to Thunderbolts' coach Jason Durham. Johnson no doubt had also heard plenty about White from the PSU coach who began recruiting him, Ron Vanderlinden.

Both men have already made a strong impression on White.

“It's pretty close,” White said of his relationship with Vanderlinden. “I consider him the same way with Coach Johnson. They're good guys, and they stayed around for a long time.

“Coach Johnson, since 1996, has had five first-round draft picks -- the first being Courtney Brown. And Coach Van has had numerous amount of linebackers drafted. It's pretty nice.”

White recorded 80 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks for 6-4 Millville in 2012. He visited Penn State for a Junior Day Feb. 23. He told FOX Sports NEXT after that visit that he was pleased with the focus on academics PSU presented during that visit, and further elaborated on that point recently.

The tackle wants to pursue criminal justice as a major, and he's known that since taking a sophomore year class dedicated to law enforcement. It's an added boon in the Nittany Lions' cap that the university offers such a program.

“They are still trying to turn the program around, which is very nice to see, and they are keeping their name pure,” White explained. “Everything they put into their whole Junior Day was about academics, and I was really excited to see that they take pride in criminal justice, because that's what I want [to major in].”

He has learned more about Penn State through weekly Facebook messages from Johnson, which are often filled with facts about the university and the program.

He also knows that he would like an offer from Penn State, regardless of when it may come.

“It would be great, because it's such a prestigious school, and a school with a big name,” White said. “You never know what other schools might tumble in, and Penn State in general is Penn State. If you get an offer from them, you are basically set, and especially if [you go there] and get a Penn State degree.”

White investigates each school by first verifying that it offers criminal justice, and then goes on to check how long the head coach and defensive line coach have been around. Finally, he considered the program's success as whole over the years.

Currently, he's investigating how to improve his game during the offseason.

“[My strength] is the first step, and I'm always going to go with that first step [when asked],” White said. “Being a defensive tackle, you don't have as much time for pass rushing as linebackers, so your read and first step have to be way quicker than the other linemen.

“As for improvement, I want to focus on my pad level,” he continued. “It's hard to do without a football or equipment, but I've been working with a tennis ball. My trainer will drop it 10 yards away, and I have to explode out of my stance and catch it. I've seen improvement.”

With an ideal playing weight of about 270 pounds, White said he is also focusing on the strength portion of the game in the offseason. Well, that and his recruitment.

“I plan to get out to Michigan State sometime this summer, and everything is heating up a little bit,” he explained. “I don't have a timetable for when I see myself making a decision, but maybe sometime before the season in the summer.”

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