As a Recruit
While I may be new to writing here at FTRS, I can vividly remember the recruitment of D.J. White. A one time University of South Florida commit, White de-committed from South Florida just days before his visit to the Flats. His other offers came from Auburn (his primary recruiter is now his Defensive Coordinator at Tech, Ted Roof), South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and South Florida. White played for in-state Union Grove HS in McDonough, and was rated as a top-30 prospect (according to 247Sports) in what has become a non-traditional hotbed state, Georgia. Our initial report here was spot on when it came to his strengths, and he has gotten much better in coverage throughout his time here.
On the Flats
Since arriving to the Flats in 2012, DJ White has played each season, contributing quite frequently as a true freshman in 2012-13. While he did not start out the season as regular contributor, he began to show he belonged, and he would begin to exceed eexpectations, playing in the last ten games of the season.
As a sophomore, White became an impact player for the Tech defense, and got a chance to start nine of the thirteen games of the season. His breakout game came against Ole Miss in the bowl game, where he had two forced fumbles, thirteen tackles, and his first career interception. Heading into his junior season, he had began to receive some well-deserved hype.
His junior year was full of amazing plays, from "The Pick" to him chasing down Pitt running back James Conner to force a fumble, there is plenty of evidence as to what led him to being name to the All-ACC honorable mention by the media. Watching him in the bowl game against Mississippi State, the transformation was clear that he had become an elite cornerback, and his stats in the game don't lie: three pass breakups and four crucial open-field tackles that helped preserve the win against the one-time number one team in the country. The two most memorable plays can be seen below:
This upcoming season is going to be crucial in determining just where and/or if D.J. White belongs in the National Football League. While some may say he lacks the top-flight speed that it takes to play corner at the next level, the video directly above shows that when the pads go on, his speed cannot be measured by a shuttle time, a forty time, or any other test other than an in-game situation.With the way the NFL personnel has fallen in love with big, physical corners, White has a chance to make it. His height may not be his best attribute, but during his time in Atlanta he has become great with his hands, and he knows where the ball is at all times. Whether it be as a hybrid safety or as a nickel corner, expect D.J. White to continue to grow in coverage, while climbing up draft boards at the same time.