LAURINBURG, NC — Zamir White is starting to come out of his shell.
The 5-star UGA commit would have probably shied away from giving a speech in front of a gym full of people a few years ago, but those days are in his rearview.
He aced Public Speaking 101 with poise Friday afternoon at his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey presentation ceremony.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound tailback made sure everyone in the new Scotland County High School gym knew how “blessed” and “honored” and “thankful” he was to receive that recognition.
White thanked his “beautiful mother” Shanee’ White, his teammates, his uncle Anthony Peagues for putting a ball in his hand, his head coach and just about everyone in Scotland for their support.
“He is getting used to all of this I guess,” White said.
When White’s rep behind the podium was over, he got a pound of support from his head coach and then wiped the nerves from off his face.
It seemed like the only time he let it show he wasn’t used to that yet.
His story from his battling tremendous adversity with his first breaths continues its arc. White will be in Athens in January. He will enroll early and be ready to go.
He will also be an unofficial visitor at the Kentucky game tomorrow.
Scotland County coach Richard Bailey also spoke at the event. He felt it was a “blessing” to coach the nation’s No. 1 RB prospect.
That went beyond White’s career rushing total of 7,000-plus yards.
“I’ve been coaching football for 27 years and I’ve coached some great football players and some great young men but none more deserving of this honor than Zamir White,” Bailey said. “He has epitomized what being a great football player is all about but more importantly what a great teammate is all about.”
“I’ve never met a football player with more ability that was as humble and selfless as Zamir is. If I am fortunate to coach another 10-15 years I am sure I will never coach a finer young man than Zamir White.”
Bailey’s words spoke to the sentiments White expressed a few moments before.
“He was nervous,” his mother said. “But I guess he did well with it.”
Watch the entire ceremony below.