An Interview With Austin White

Submitted by Brian on July 8th, 2009 at 11:04 AM


Though Michigan has thumping TX RB Stephen Hopkins in the fold, they're still looking for a complementary back in the recruiting class. Instate running back Austin White is one of a few tailbacks Michigan is focusing on, and despite the Spartan on his helmet and Spartans in his family—two brothers are currently at State—Michigan currently maintains a lead with White. Tom VanHaaren caught up with White a couple days ago to get the latest.

TOM: Recently you said that Michigan is in the lead. Tell me about what sets them apart from the others.

AUSTIN: Right now, it’s still really close; they’re not set far apart. I like their style of offense; I think it fits me well. I have a really good relationship with the coaches too, and I like the way they coach. I talk to Coach Rod Smith and Jackson the most. I really like that I’ve built a good relationship with all the coaches, not just my position coaches. It’s good to get to know all of them, and see that they all have the same goals. That’s kind of what has them as my favorite.

TOM: What about Michigan’s offense is attractive to you? How do you see yourself fitting in, and succeeding?

AUSTIN: I feel like they utilize the running back in more versatile ways. That’s the way I am, I don’t just do one thing. I feel like that would help showcase what I do, with running the ball and being able to catch it.

TOM: Early on, everyone really thought you were a Michigan State lock, because of your family ties. How has that changed for you?

AUSTIN: It was never really the case, I’m sure it’s because of my family. I like State a lot, they’ve got great coaches, but just measuring things out I feel like Michigan feels better than State does. It’s hard because I’ve built a relationship with those guys, so it’s tough.

TOM: What has your family been telling you? Are your brothers trying to convince you to come to State?

AUSTIN: No, my brothers aren’t saying much. They tell me to be my own person, and obviously they have their opinions, but it’s just an opinion. Ultimately it’s just going to be my decision.

TOM: I know you also said initially you wanted to see some other schools further away, like LSU, is that still the plan?

AUSTIN: I think it is, it really depends on my family’s schedule for the summer. If we have time and money for it, so we’ll see what happens. I will probably use a couple official visits to go further away. I’m planning on taking all five officials, just not sure when and where.

TOM: Has there been any negative recruiting towards either in state school?

AUSTIN: Not really, there’s not a lot of negative recruiting going on. It’s a lot more of them just telling me about their school, and what they have to offer. So, that’s been good.

TOM: What camps have you been to so far?

AUSTIN: Nike Camp, Michigan Preps, University of Michigan, and Michigan State so far.

TOM: Who has stuck out to you at the camps you’ve been to? Both at Michigan’s and others.

AUSTIN: There was a quarterback at Michigan’s, I think it was Cornelius Jones, I’m not sure though. I had never seen him before, he impressed me, and had a real strong arm. The quarterback I do know is Devin [Gardner]. He was at camp doing some one on one’s with us. I love that Devin is such a competitive kid, he works hard, and he’s just a good guy.

Some of the younger guys were balling out too, like Delonte [Hollowell] from Cass Tech, he played well. At State, Will Gholston was up there. It’s cool to go up against each other, because he’s always trying to win, but I think I got the best of him. The Nike Camp, Kyle Prater was there, and he’s a big body, real athletic kid. There were a couple linebackers where I went, like Austin Gray. It was good to go against him too.

TOM: You and Dior Mathis are really the last two unknowns of the top instate recruits. What have you been hearing from the State side, and the Michigan side?

AUSTIN: I’m really hearing the same thing from both sides. They feel like I can succeed in their offense, and hopefully raise my game to the next level in their program. That stuff to me means a lot, because they’re trying to get the best look for me, with an honest perspective of what they think.

TOM: Since your recruitment has changed so much, do you think your timeline will change?

AUSTIN: It could change at any time, because I’m going off the feeling I have. That feeling could come now, or could come in a couple months from now. I’m just not sure when that’s going to happen for me, so we’ll see.


El Jeffe

July 8th, 2009 at 11:23 AM ^

for those of you who seem to know about this stuff: are the commitments of Hill at MSU and Drake at UM basically a wash or otherwise irrelevant? Assuming UM/MSU are 1/2 for White's services, that is.

Or does Hill's recent commitment help us more than Drake's earlier commitment hurt us?


July 8th, 2009 at 11:26 AM ^

Drake will be a slot, I believe, so it doesn't "hurt" us at all. Hopkins is a big back, and we're looking for one more (small-ish) back. I have to believe that Hill to MSU hurts them a little.

Sandler For 3

July 8th, 2009 at 12:17 PM ^

They are very different type players playing different positions. To be cliche, Nick Hill is of the Mike Hart mold while Tony Drake is off the Martavious Odoms mold. I don't think either really matter in the decision because I don't think he minds competition.


July 8th, 2009 at 11:36 AM ^

Definitely a positive to hear good things about him since he isn't "rated" as high as some people would like. He must have something the coaches like in order for them to offer so early. Plus, he looks like a guy that could move to another position in case quarterback doesn't work out.


July 8th, 2009 at 7:21 PM ^

I for one could easily see Cornelius' ranking see a bump after this season. He didn't get anywhere near the playing time that Gardner got as a Junior, and its said that Rodriguez offered off of practice tape alone. That by itself makes me think that this kid has a lot more that any of us might think. I think that by the end of this upcoming season, we'll be commending RR's eye for recruits. That's just me though.


July 8th, 2009 at 11:36 AM ^

I don't know if you guys have watched this or not yet. There are some good clips of White obviously...wearing number 23. Keep an eye on the double XBOX spin at the 5:00 mark.


July 8th, 2009 at 1:18 PM ^

This is actually the only video I've seen of White so far (excluding the two "Hammertime Play of the Week" clips on YouTube). His top gear is obviously not ultra fast, but he's got some incredible cutting ability and can stop on a dime.

I'd really like to see more clips, but I can't seem to find any on the free sites.


July 8th, 2009 at 12:14 PM ^

Good interview, Tom. I loved hearing this kids perspective on other recruits. He seems to be a leveled headed kid. I wish him well whether he ends up at Michigan or not. Hopefully, he'll be blue though.


July 8th, 2009 at 12:24 PM ^

I actually had some assumptions on him based off of what others have said about his brothers. He was the opposite of what I thought he would be.

He was very well spoken, elaborated on his answers, and really seemed to know what he wanted to say. I like him, he seems like a good kid.


July 8th, 2009 at 1:20 PM ^

Yeah it's funny that based on what you hear 2nd, 3rd, 10th-hand, I thought he was looking for as much attention as he could get. After reading this he seems like he's TRYING to leave his options open and not comitting so he can see some other schools/part of the country on officials. Almost like he took some lessons-learned from Big-Will.
A good read and I feel like he'll join the class in 2010. It was also intesting to get a player's opinion on some of the kids at the camps that he's going up against.


July 8th, 2009 at 1:16 PM ^

One thing that threw me about the rankings this year was that Austin White was in virtually every recruiting service's top 100/200 before their rankings actually came out, and then he fell out of most of them excluding Scout. I'm willing to bet it was the 4.71 forty that was reported at one camp.


July 9th, 2009 at 11:04 AM ^

This kid seems smart in the way that he is going about his recruitment. Of course I would like to see him in the Maize and Blue though. It was also really great to hear the Cornelius Jones shout out. People will know about this guy after the end of this season.