Like much of the Texas A&M Aggies fanbase, North Richland Hills linebacker DaShaun White is waiting.
Until new head coach Jimbo Fisher announces his defensive coordinator in College Station, White is in something of a holding pattern as he prepares for the 2018 US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio this weekend.
Had Texas not waited until October to extend an offer to White, it’s possible that he would already be a member of the recruiting class instead of a longtime commit to Texas A&M.
However, the relationship that defensive coordinator Todd Orlando has built with White over the last few months resulted in an official visit in November and White possessing a great deal of respect for Orlando, calling him an “elite” coordinator and “one of the best in the nation.”
The opportunity for early playing time is also appealing with the departure of star linebacker Malik Jefferson to the NFL and limited depth at the position. There’s some competition coming in with 2018 Under Armour All-American inside linebacker Ayodele Adeoye enrolling early, however.
“It was big for me to see whenever Malik Jefferson declared for the draft because now things are sort of wide open,” White said on Tuesday. “Just seeing that those other two spots are wide open, it’s a big deal.”
The clear-cut starter at the moment is Gary Johnson, who was listed on the depth chart at the weak-side Rover position, but played middle linebacker next to Jefferson in the Lightning Package.
If White ends up at Texas, he could end up playing his preferred Rover position next to Johnson at Mike. If Adeoye is one of the two best linebackers next fall, Johnson could switch to the Rover to allow the bigger Adeoye to play in the middle.
White has big goals for his freshman season — all-conference and Freshman Defensive Player of the Year — so the open depth chart and Orlando’s success with Jefferson and Johnson this year is clearly appealing to him.
As with Johnson and Adeoye, landing White would be another indication of how convincing Orlando is as a recruiter as results on the field only make that pitch easier.
Still, there’s that big looming question of whether Texas A&M will make a defensive coordinator hire that resonates with the 6’1, 222-pounder, who racked up 154 tackles and 21 tackles for loss during his monster senior season.
After all, White wants to make a decision as soon as possible instead of waiting until National Signing Day in February.