LAURINBURG, N.C. — Zamir White will make his college decision Tuesday. The nation’s No. 1 running back in the Class of 2018, per the 247Sports composite, will line a few hats up on the table and choose one, signaling his school choice.
The ceremony is scheduled to take place at noon ET from the Scotland County High School cafeteria. DawgNation will stream the decision live from its Facebook page.
White also ranks as the nation’s No. 6 overall prospect for 2018. A commitment by White — called Zeus by his friends — could signal a thunderous change in the perception of Georgia’s 2018 class.
- The most important thing first: The real story to read about 5-star RB Zamir White
- RELATED: PHOTOS from Scotland County’s practice on the eve of his college decision
The 5-star RB plans to enroll at his school of choice in January. He already has been named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl roster.
Zamir White: His teammates weigh in
White greeted DawgNation when he had a break from practice on Monday morning. He politely declined an interview request. That’s not unusual, given the timeline of his decision. Plus, he’s almost stopped talking to reporters over the last month.
White was never one to hold long chats with reporters, even before his college choice began to attract so much regional and national attention.
With hours to go before his decision, we thought we’d share the thoughts of a few of his Scotland County teammates about where he will wind up.
What did his teammates think about his choice on Tuesday? Here are a few quick points:
- Georgia was the clear favorite. DawgNation spoke to 12 people at Scotland County High on Monday, and all but one of those thought White will choose UGA on Tuesday.
- Most made it clear that North Carolina was the only other team in it.
- Ohio State was seen as being just too far away.
- Alabama also drew a couple of votes ahead of North Carolina in the predicted pecking order among his finalists.
The specific predictions on Zamir White
Senior LT Tim Williams: “Georgia but I do think that North Carolina is making it close. The depth chart is better for him at Georgia. He can go there and play right away.”
Senior OL Hunter Sheppard: “Oregon. I think he wants to go there and be a quick starter.” (Note: The Ducks are not expected to be one of his finalists.)
Senior OL Isaiah McPhatter: “Georgia. I think Georgia but I think North Carolina is closing in and is just right there on the doorstep. But I do still think Georgia.”
Senior LB TJ Smith: “I think it is Alabama and Georgia but I think it is Georgia. There is nothing like playing ball in the SEC. There are a few Zamir Whites over there at Alabama already. But if he goes to Georgia, they don’t have all the 5-stars or the Zamir Whites over there. Alabama has more 5-stars than everybody. They have got last year’s No. 1 RB and they still have Bo Scarbrough. That’s a guaranteed two-year wait to play at Alabama. He can get more light early on and shine right away at Georgia.”
Senior DB/LB Javon Ratliffe: “Georgia. All these other schools have all this talent coming in at RB or that is already there. That’s Clemson. That’s Alabama. It will be harder to play there but he can go to Georgia, play in the SEC and it is wide open at Georgia. He can go there and be the face for them.”
Senior LB Chris Williams: “I think he goes to Georgia. He has good ties down there and he has been down there a lot. They are about to turn that program around. They need a new face of that program to turn that program around.”
The majority of his teammates said they thought White would choose Georgia and could flourish there.
North Carolina? They said it was close and would be good to stay with the home state — if White played basketball.
“It doesn’t get any better than playing SEC ball,” Williams said. “That’s like North Carolina in basketball. He can go to the SEC and show out against an Alabama if he went to Georgia.”
Pick the Zamir White urban legend
We heard so many tall tales about White that we thought we’d play a fun game.
We’ll tick off several far-fetched nuggets we heard about White on Monday or in the past.
There will be one urban legend about White tossed in here. The rest of them will be factual. (That “urban legend” stuff has nothing to do with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.)
- A) DawgNation was told that one college coach felt White was a “generational” talent at RB.
- B) A couple of high school coaches from North Carolina told DawgNation over the past month that they feel White is already better than North Carolina native and UGA great Todd Gurley at the same stage of their careers. Why? White maintains his speed in and out of cuts better.
- C) Ready for some irony? Scotland County plays in the Southeastern (SEC) Conference within its North Carolina state high school association.
- D) White rarely takes water breaks, but a member of the Fighting Scots told DawgNation he drinks horse oil instead. That’s a nod to how much he loves horses.
- E) DawgNation was also told White goes through four or five pairs of game cleats during a season because of the torque and power he runs with. In other words, White shreds shoes.
- F) White was not given much chance to live before, and even after, he was born. He spent much of the first three months of his life at the UNC Medical Center.
- G) White’s teammates say he is in remarkable shape and does not sweat during the majority of their practices.
- H) White scored the first time he carried the football as a freshman in 2014.
- I) Scotland County coach Richard Bailey was told by the former UGA coaching staff that White was better than any RB prospect they were recruiting in the 2016, 2017 or 2018 classes.
- J) White has a ferocious stiff arm. He once stiff-armed two defenders on one play and also stiff-armed a teammate out of the way on his way to a touchdown on another snap.
- K) A Scotland County assistant coach told DawgNation on Monday the best highlight he’s ever seen from White was when he suggested a simple inside run call on a 3rd-and-30. The offense had gotten bogged down after successive holding calls. What happened? White scored on a 60-yard touchdown romp.
Which one of these doesn’t pass the sniff test? Well, that’s actually a trick question. All of the above are accurate statements. Largely.
Item “D” is the one that might not pass the sniff test. We’ll explain why in the next section.
DawgNation’s favorite Zamir White story from Monday
Option “D” was the one about those water breaks. That’s accurate. White rarely takes water breaks. DawgNation witnessed him take a knee in the middle of the practice field repeatedly during water breaks on Monday.
When he does get water in practice it is usually because a trainer or a coach brings a water bottle out to him.
White’s grandparents own a farm. He loves horses, especially stallions. He’s been riding them since he was young.
That said, the stretch of the truth was that “horse oil” story. A member of the Fighting Scots did actually say that on Monday, but that was in jest.
“He doesn’t take a water break because he takes horse oil,” his teammate Javon Ratliffe said. “That’s because he is a stallion. His pistons are always moving and his adrenaline is always rushing so he doesn’t want to slow them down and take time for water.”
“Naw, man,” Ratliffe said. “I’m just messing with you. Please tell everyone to follow me on social media on Instagram, though.”
He added something else.
“Make sure everyone knows this one thing about Zamir,” Ratliffe said. “Most guys you will find going big-time D-1 like Zamir are cocky. He’s not cocky at all. That’s one thing people look at him and might think. But he’s never cocky. I’ve never seen him cocky. I’ve never seen him like ‘you know I’ve got all these offers’ at all. He’s a very quiet and down-to-earth and keep-it-all-to-himself kind of guy.”
The 2017 fall preview on White
White will have his best offensive line at Scotland County this fall. The Fighting Scots will average about 285 pounds from tackle to tackle. The coaching staff estimates that there will four or five future college players paving the way for him.
That figure probably matches, or even surpasses, the number of combined future college players he had blocking for him during the first three years of his varsity career. White, who is 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, has tallied 5,083 yards rushing in high school, thanks to 8.6 career yards per rushing attempt. He has scored 85 touchdowns. And, by the way, he has clocked a 10.5 time in the 100 meters.
That’s an average of 141 yards per varsity game. He’ll now have what projects to be the best varsity line of his prep career blocking for him this fall.