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February 10, 2009

Season recap: Pete White

Pete White wasn’t your average, wide-eyed freshman.

At 6-foot-4, 298 pounds, the massive ninth-grader stepped right into the starting offensive line for St. John’s (D.C.), going to battle to every week with other Washington Catholic Athletic Conference powers.

Freshman year wasn’t without its challenges for White. But according to St. John’s coach Joe Patterson, that season was a sign of things to come.

“He was a freshman starting on a line with four other Division I seniors [Triston Cappel (Delaware State), Drew Luongo (Penn), Mike Ward (Akron), Ryan White (Georgetown)],” Patterson said. “He played guard that year and he did well for us, but certainly he was thrown into the fire there. ... He really loved it, though. He still talks about those guys from his first year. He has a lot of respect because they taught him a lot about tenacity and playing hard every play.”

It was no surprise to Patterson when White developed into one of the most sought-after offensive line prospects in the country, culminating with the now 6-foot-5, 339-pounder signing with Maryland last week. White picked the Terps over offers from Miami and Tennessee.

White helped pave the way for the Cadets’ 7-4 season last fall. St. John’s fell in the WCAC semifinals to DeMatha. Patterson said White was “fantastic” all year long.

“He was named team MVP, named first-team All-Met by The Washington Post, he made the Under Armour All-American game,” Patterson said. “He’s just a standout blocker. The thing that he did really well senior year was pulling. We did a lot of tackle pulls, counters. There were a few times this year where he was able to really deliver blows while moving in space. Those were probably his best-looking highlights.”

Patterson said what separates White from most high school linemen is his size, strength, hips and “use of his hands to deliver a blow.”

White was on the Terps’ radar since that ninth-grade year, but Patterson said his decision really came down to the wire.

“As of [last] Monday, he still didn’t know where he was going,” Patterson said. “I talked with him Monday, talked to his father on Monday and it was clear that the decision had not been made yet. ... I think he certainly had the idea that he wanted to take visits and see what was out there so when he made the decision he’d be making it without any question marks left in his mind about other opportunities. He saw the best that Tennessee had to offer and the best that Miami had to offer.”

White’s mother played basketball for the Terps, his father earned a master’s degree from UM and his sister is a current student. On Signing Day, he went with the hometown school. Patterson thinks it’ll prove to be a good fit.

“I thought [former UM defensive coordinator] Chris Cosh did a great job early in getting to know the family and I think that certainly in this last year, Maryland’s done a great job of communicating their expectations of Pete as well as their plans for Pete. ... [The UM staff does] a good job of not ... making any promises. But certainly the depth chart after the graduation [of several offensive linemen] looks as if some of the newcomers are going to have the opportunity to compete to possibly get on the field early.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:30 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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