July 13, 2008
White enjoys Big Orange Country visit
From the outset, Peter White's unofficial visit this weekend to the University of Tennessee went better than expected.
"It went real well, and I liked it a lot," said the 6-foot-4, 340-pound offensive lineman. "I got down there on Thursday night, drove through the city. We were kind of surprised because we thought it was going to be a country school but it was actually in the city. I like that because I live outside Baltimore and D.C. We just drove around looking, and on Friday we met up with coach (Larry Slade) and he gave us a tour. Coach (Greg) Adkins, we talked to him and talked to coach (Phillip) Fulmer. The whole weekend went real well."
Though White opted not to give a verbal commitment during his visit, he knows without hesitation his top five schools and when he would like to effectively end his recruitment with an announcement.
"I don't know when but probably before summer ends," White said of his pending decision. "I know I definitely have a top five: Tennessee, Maryland, Florida, Miami and Oregon."
And after this weekend, do the Vols lead?
"Yes," White answered emphatically.
Despite delivering a full-court press on White, Tennessee's coaches scored points with the big lineman through their low-pressure approach.
"They really didn't stress that much and they understand it's a business as well," White said of not being hounded for a commitment. "They told me to take my time and make sure I pick the right school because it's a massive decision. It's the second most important decision in life besides getting married. Making the right decision is probably the biggest thing they stressed."
While White raved about Tennessee's facilities and the campus atmosphere, it was a message delivered by both Adkins and first-year offensive coordinator Dave Clawson that stuck with the four-star prospect from Washington, D.C., St. John's College High.
"I just like how coach Clawson told me and coach Adkins told me, if I do come there, I will play tackle," White said. "They said they will teach me to play every position on the line. I did play guard as a freshman and my coach told me I will probably get some reps this year at center. It would be good to be that versatile coming out of college."
Clawson and the Vols' offensive versatility up front both made lasting impressions on the touted recruit ranked the No. 1 strongest offensive lineman in the class of 2009.
"I would definitely say the biggest thing I like is the new offensive coordinator, coach Clawson, and he said if I go there, I would definitely be playing tackle," White said. "I love that idea (of learning all positions along the line) because I like challenges and to push myself to the limit and learning different systems. That would be real interesting. I definitely feel I'm up to the challenge."
While Neyland Stadium's present phase of renovations isn't scheduled for completion until Aug. 22, White raved about the Vols' venerable home and the other facilities he toured.
"Oh man, it was under construction and that's an amazing stadium," White said. "It seats 104,000, and that was really impressive to see. I've been to Penn State's stadium before, but it seemed like Neyland Stadium was so much bigger.
"Facilities, they told me should be completed in 2010. It was really nice, definitely one of the top ones I've seen so far. Just everything was nice and in order."
Rated among the top 10 linemen in next year's class, White boasts a 370-pound bench press and presently rests No. 119 on the Rivals250.
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